1 Corinthians 13:7

Love bears, believes, hopes, and endures; not just through some things, but ALL things. You can imagine how many messy things God might be referring to. How could this be true of long term love in marriage, I’d wondered? Every relationship I knew or knew of, it seemed, ended from some sort of fear, discontent, or infidelity.

Chris was napping, I was reading my Bible. We’d been friends as teens and hung in the same crowd, so our reconnection as friends later in life was refreshing. No hidden agenda was pressuring me.

On that quiet day in my house, God was feeding me these scriptures outlining what love was meant to be. I didn’t understand then, though I wondered at the revelation being driven deeper. Love had never been pure like this before, not in my life or others I’d observed. Partners argued and insulted, were untrusting without merit, left one another feeling empty, lonely, and hopeless, all while trying to earn worth and love.

A Love Like God’s Love

But God was filling me that day, not only with His wisdom but with His love, the very love that fulfills His commandment. God was letting me know that He was bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, and enduring all things right alongside me. That was true love.

However, there was something more He was showing me. I knew it, but I couldn’t truly understand it, that earthly human love that loves like God. That’s a revelation one simply can’t comprehend unless it is experienced. A true love of God’s kind seems like a thing of romance books or fantasy.

Long Term Love is a Revelation

I liken such a revelation of love to this: Even if you are a Christian, if you’ve never experienced an intimate relationship with the living God, you can’t understand how real and amazing His presence and revelations are, revelations that are purposeful and relevant to you specifically. You won’t know how peace can truly permeate sadness or tragedy. You’d question the reality of transformation through no effort other than choosing closeness with Him. In order for you to understand this phenomenal Spiritual connection, you’d have to experience it for yourself.

I have realized the same is true of this love God was impressing on me that day, a love ordained for lifelong marriage. We say we understand the commitment when we excitedly impart on a journey of life together with a spouse. At some point, the excitement of new love and what we imagine marriage to be fades. What is left? What is next?

When the Love Dissipates

Though commitment to your spouse in itself is important, a focus on God can rejuvenate and strengthen any stale marriage. And much like the difference between saying we are Christian vs growing in an intimate relationship with God, a marriage can transform in ways you’d never envision.

Raising children, work obligations, extra-curricular or community commitments, caregiving of elder family members; there’s a host of responsibilities that can weigh down the marital connection. But God is present, willing, and able to bring forth new life where you hadn’t realized it’d dissipated.

Separateness Becomes Comfortable, But We Are Called to Serve

I remember one day realizing my husband wasn’t my focus anymore. Actually, he hadn’t much been on the radar, except for the things I needed to get done for him. I had become distant, easily focused on other matters, and overall not loving. Though he remained a constant strength and was committed to me and our family, God revealed to me that I needed to recommit my attention, love, and respect to my husband.

Where to start? It’s awkward to try to reconnect with a spouse that you’ve become distant from. That separateness becomes comfortable. Being meek is not. I prayed for wisdom, to be changed, and to step through humbly to once more serve the man God chose for me.

Chris and Rebecca Matthews in April 2024 having been married 19 years.

Chris and Rebecca, having been married for 19 years, are enjoying God inspired long term love in marriage.

Honoring Our Spouse Comes When We Seek God’s Direction and Obey His Lead

We’ve recently celebrated our nineteenth anniversary. It was just a day, quiet and without fanfare, but God kindly keeps showing me new things that excite my heart about us. Because of God, our relationship renewed years ago with a deeper love than what ignited our love initially. And today, the Lord reminded me of that day twenty-something years ago when we were simply friends, one napping, one reading the Bible.

I re-read that scripture today. Love bears, believes, hopes, and endures ALL things. How can this be the truth? Today I know the answer, because I returned my focus to the One Who is the Answer, and I relinquished my relationship with my husband to God’s mighty intentions. I sought for and leaned into His direction, and humbly yet awkwardly attempted that which He put on my heart, and doing so not only exalted God, it honor my husband, too.

Long Term Love, Under God’s Guidance, Becomes A Phenomenal Blessing

If you haven’t known God intimately for yourself, talk with Him. Let Him reveal Himself to you in ways you’d never understood.

If your marriage is stale and you’re at a loss, rather than throw the towel in and give up, talk to God. Let Him reveal Himself to you in ways you’d never thought possible, and do as He leads. You’ll look back one day in awe at a transformation only God could have created! Take it from me.

God’s peace,


For more on my journey with Chris, read Marriage’s Silver Lining. At the end of that story is a link to a great message God put on my heart in a five minute video titled A Fruitful Marriage.

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