Our sweet & awesome friends, Shaun & Dana so love anything to do with enhancing marriages so much so that they lead a marriage group in their home and counsel many marriages through both good and hard times. I asked Dana to write a blog for our blog of any advice she’d give to someone getting married or newly married. Below she writes on what love is and what it is not and that if you are engaged you are a step ahead to marry for the right reason and if you are already married to remember what love is and what it is not. I won’t give all her good advice away, but so encourage you to read on.
To Dana! Thank you so very much for taking the time to write this up and for all you do at strengthening marriage! We love you!
If you’re an 80’s baby like I am, you grew up seeing big hair, bright eyeshadow and big, big musical voices. One of the musical icons in the 80’s was Tina Turner, who belted out the emotionally charged What’s Love Got to Do with It. This song, though lyrically catchy, is literally inaccurate. Let me break it down for those unfamiliar with the song. Tina Turner says love is simply “a second-hand emotion” and “a sweet, old-fashioned notion.” But love is way more than just an emotion or a notion. Love is the very foundation on which healthy marriages are built. Without a proper understanding and elevation of love, a marriage won’t survive.
Love is not an emotion nor is it temporary. I’ve been to dozens of weddings, and a good number of them have the reading of I Corinthians 13 somewhere during the ceremony. No matter what your religious beliefs, most people agree on the definition of love as outlined by the apostle Paul in this Scripture. Let’s look at what real love is and what it is not.
When I meet with couples who are having problems in their marriage, I always go back to the very definition of love in I Corinthians 13 to help them see where they’ve gone off course. I believe a lack of love is at the root of every marriage problem.
If you’re about to get married, you’re actually a step ahead, because you can choose now to marry for the right reason. Note, there is no “s” after the word “reason.” The reason you should get married is not to be loved, but to learn how to love.Too many people have fooled themselves into thinking they know how to love. Then, they get married and everything “falls apart.” In actuality, the “love” they thought they had was conditional, temporary and self-serving. Once real life hit, and their love was tested, it was proven to be shallow and vain.
What is most fiancé’s response when asked why he loves his soon-to-be bride? “I love her because she makes me happy.” “I love her because she is always there for me.” I love her because she’s my ride or die.” Ask yourself why you love your partner. If the word “me” shows up somewhere in your answer, your love is conditional. What happens when the wife stops making the husband happy, the husband stops being there for the wife or the wife stops riding and dying? It’s around this time we start hearing things like, “It’s just not working out,” or “I married the wrong person.” When, in all actuality, the person really should say, “I realize how selfish I am, and that I only married my spouse for what he/she could do for me.”
Real love lasts forever. It doesn’t keep score of how many times you’ve outshined your spouse. It doesn’t seek its own way, but always seeks the betterment of the other person. I’m sad to say that the majority or marriages aren’t built on love at all, but on pleasure. And pleasure is a sinking foundation to build anything on.
If you want a marriage that will last, learn how to love. Learn to give when you want to take. Learn how to say yes when you want to say no. Learn how to tough it out when you want to walk away. Learn that your spouse is the BEST tool to rid you of your selfish ways. Trust the process, and understand that love’s got everythingto do with it!
To help jumpstart your process, I’ve put together an 8-minute audio titled “7 Secrets to a Happy Marriage.” You can download it for free by clicking here.
For more information on how to build or restore a healthy marriage, visit Dana Che at http://realrelationshiptalk.com.
Dana Che is an inspirational speaker, author, blogger, relationship coach and host of the online talk show Real Relationship Talkwho is passionate about seeing people walk in relational wholeness. She shares her life with her husband and high school sweetheart, Shaun, their four amazing children and their “multi-cultural” dog in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA.