Are you somewhat amazed by how many books are published to help people seeking to understand how to love another person? Many of those that come across my desk as “book reviews” seem to be so very simple. It seems that one should be insulted by a writer spending the time to write such an elementary book on how to live in marital happiness.
Then, I consider how many adults today never had a stable home life as a child. Mom and Dad divorced when they were young and too often, the child’s life then became a dysfunctional experience of one person after another coming to live in the home…sometimes married to mom (or vice versa) for a short time with different men (or dad with women) and sometimes just “live-ins” for a season. As grown adults, these young adults are longing for a meaningful relationship. But when both “bride and groom” have never lived in stability of a home of a committed love relationship, they are eager to find out “how” that can possibly be accomplished.
No one knows the tragic impact of divorce more than the person that has experienced it first hand as a mate or as children in a divorced home. God made us to love. The joy of love is when the relationship is spiritually strong, healthy, growing, and ever embracing each stage of life together. The sorrow comes when one or both mates have deep hurts, hidden anger, smoldering tempers, abusive personalities, or other destructive behaviors. It is so very hard to choose daily to love one’s mate when that mate inflicts stress, pain, and hurt. It is an unusual soul that lives a lifetime with one that has been continually difficult and distant in loving their marital partner.
Newspaper columnist and Minister George Crane related the story of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. “I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me.
Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan “Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you’ve convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that you’re getting a divorce. That will really hurt him.” With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, “Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!”
And she did it with enthusiasm. Acting “as if.” For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, and sharing.
When she didn’t return, Crane called. “Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?”
“Divorce?” she exclaimed. “Never! I discovered I really do love him.”
Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds. (Copied).
Remember the Biblical admonition….Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:21-22, 25).