Counting the Cost

I’ve suggested you can have a significantly better marriage – much deeper, much more loving – if only you and your bride both make it a priority.  I think there are a few questions to ask before you go for this: can it happen, what will it cost, am I willing to do what it takes, and is my bride willing?

Can it happen? As I said, I’ve seen it happen. I know a number of couples married 15 plus years who would say the last few years are better than all but the first months of their marriage, and it’s just getting better and better.

What will it cost? This is the real issue, in my opinion. Folks who’ve successfully done this have been willing to give up almost anything. Some have had to give up a great deal, others just a bit, but all were willing to put their marriage first when something else got in the way. You might have to change where you live, the size of your home, your job, your hobby, and so on. If advancement in your job is more important than your marriage, a great marriage isn’t going to happen. If a big home, or a lot of stuff, is more important than deep love, the love’s not going to happen. If what others think of you is more important than what your spouse thinks of you, don’t even try this.

Are you willing to do what it takes? There’s no set plan on this, it’s open ended. If you can commit to the goal, rather than what you think the process will be, you have a good shot. Are you willing to give up your “right” to feel certain ways?  Are you willing to do things you don’t think you should have to do, and not make a big deal about it?

Is she willing to do what it takes? All of the above applies to her as well, and she needs to be doing this of her free will. By the way, she’s more likely to have to deal with feelings of being cheated out of these things by you in the past – odds are she tried more than you in the past.

What about sex? Couples who fall madly in love develop wonderful, active sex lives. Not because they force it, or one of them demands it, but because they both want it. This is a natural part of being deeply in love, and I suspect great sex is a necessary part of keeping the cycle going. If she has deep issues with sex, it’s likely she can’t do what’s required for a fantastic marriage. She may back off to avoid the physical intimacy that starts to grow as your love gets deeper. If you have ongoing porn or lust issues, those are going to become a limitation on the depth of your sex life, and thus your love. Minor sexual issues and differences in desire level shouldn’t be a problem, but deeper issue will be. Working for a great marriage is still a good plan, as it will expose these problems. 

Tomorrow: My stuff, your stuff, my stuff, your stuff.

5 Comments on “Counting the Cost

  1. There is something missing here and I wish more people would understand it. It seems to be a lost art even among christian circles and after being on many different forums I am beginning to wonder if christains no longer have a good grasp of who Jesus really is.

    Even if your wife has issues that block her from really entering into the marriage with passion, both of you can still have one of those marriages that goes off the charts. How? By abandoning yourself to pursuing your wife with the same passion that Jesus pursues you with.

    I have talked with many men and women over the years who had a spouse that had issues of some sort that stood in the way of the marriage. But the people I talked to said that they did not let their spouses problems stand in their way of having a super marriage. They overlooked their spouse’s faults and wrapped their arms around their spouse with passion and wonderful things happened. True, the mountain still seemed to be there from everyone else’s point of view and some wondered how the healthy spouse could be so happy in a marriage like that. Yes, even in a marriage where there was sexual refusal there was incredible sexual bliss and they reached sexual places that few couples ever go.

    The art of pursuit is so lacking. The ability to give yourself up for someone else, study them so closely, understand them so intensely, their emotions become yours, their life melds into your own, that you can dance with them into the most blissfull places, and to keep pursuing them even though they never pursue you, will take you to a place with Jesus that few ever find.

  2. I completely agree and I also like what eppvolvo said. The only times there have ever been problems in our marriage is when I got tired of being the only one giving. Then life becomes miserable for both of us. I’m happier and we have a better marriage as long as I continue to give completely and whole heartedly. I wish that we were both working towards a better marriage, but if I really want to be happy I have to give all of myself to her regardless of how she responds. I can’t help but think that Christ feels the same way about us most of the time.

  3. I’d say pursue to a point. If your wife is choosing affairs and choosing not just not to pursue you back, but to actively pursue others and choose to divorce you, then I’m not sure any amount of pursuit is going to help once a spouse has got it into her mind that you’ll never love her like she wants to be loved, and she believes lies such as you never should have married, that God will forgive her for her affair, it was a mistake, and the married man she’s having her affair with is her soul mate.

    Can God act in such cases? Sure. Does He? Not always.

    So I’d say in such a case, pursue until it’s obvious that God has chosen to allow that door to close.

    It sounds so sweet, if only we would…

    Well, it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes pursuit not only doesn’t merit reciprocity by the wife, but it may lead to her running even further away.

    Unless God gives a husband some way to really understand a wife who is choosing to hide herself, no amount of study is going to help in that circumstance.

  4. Jesus does not example endless pursuit. He pursues to a point and at great sacrifice but His patience is NOT boundless. See what He says to Laodicea in Rev 3.

    One can pursue and pursue and pursue and be rejected and rejected and rejected.

    This part is my opinion: Eventually, pursuit can be just like casting pearls before swine. I am willing to be a fool for Christ, but I am not willing to be a lifelong fool for my wife.

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