It never ceases to amaze me just how fickle my feelings can be in my marriage!
One moment, I can be looking at my husband and feel so in love with him, so at peace and the thought goes through my mind “I will never fight with him again, our love is so great” and then, WHAM, he does something I find irritating or says something that upsets me and that beautiful, warm, fuzzy feeling of love just vanishes and is replaced with feelings of anger and hurt.
One of my favourite quotes on marriage is by Judith Viorst:
“One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again.”
At a wedding ceremony, I recently attended, the officiating priest used the analogy of the miracle Jesus performed of turning water into wine to explain the statement ‘love is not a feeling it is an act of the will’. I had never heard this miracle interpreted in such a way before.
There was a wedding in Cana and Jesus, his mother, Mary, and his disciples were invited to attend and much to the chagrin of the host, the wine ran out! Mary approached Jesus and tells him that there is no wine and he needs to do something about it. She then tells the servants “Whatever He says to you, do it”. Now there were six stone water pots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, each could contain twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
They did what Jesus had told them to do and took the water to the headwaiter. He tasted the water which had now become wine and then found the bridegroom and said to him “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now”.
“This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” (John 2:1-11)
When you first get married you have a honeymoon stage and the wine (your marriage) is good. As the years pass, however, difficulties and challenges arise and that first flush of love vanishes and the marriage begins to feel like hard work and drudgery. In other words, the good wine is finished.
If, at this time, you recommit your marriage to God and start seeking in His Word for what His will for your marriage is, Jesus can turn your marriage into even better wine than it was at the start of your marriage!
No matter how ugly things have gotten between a couple, Jesus can change it. He took the dirty water pots that people had used to wash themselves in and filled these with water and turned this water into good, good wine. He can take the dregs of your marriage and make it into something good.
Jesus knew just how challenging marriage would be and I don’t think it is a co-incidence that His very first miracle was performed at a wedding – He did this to give those of us who struggle in our relationships, hope for the future.
Once we see Jesus at work in our marriages we, like the disciples, will also believe more fully in him.
If you persevere with your marriage, the latter part of your marriage will be so much more fulfilling than the first part. Life in Christ only gets better and Jesus saves the best for last.
“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make – not just on your wedding day, but over and over again – and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.” Barbara De Angelis