Aug 092016 1 Response

Are You Willing to Live for Her?

It’s a common question I ask young men as they contemplate marriage: “Are you willing to die for her?” It’s not an exaggerated question.

Until a man and woman are willing to give their lives for one another, they have no business getting married.

That’s what a wedding is–a public announcement made to God, one another, and society that we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for one another. When a man and woman say “I do,” they are promising to put the other person before their own happiness. They are promising to sacrifice their own selves for the well-being of one another. They are vowing to die for each other.

‘Till Death

In a wedding ceremony, I try to remind the couple this acceptance of death might come in a dramatic form. It’s possible that while on the honeymoon, the couple could walk into a convenience store and while paying, someone could pull a gun. In that moment, the groom has vowed he is willing to lay down his life for his bride. (See: 5 Types of Women You Shouldn’t Marry)

Yet far more likely than that one dramatic act, marriage requires that we die to ourselves on a daily basis. Time and time again over one’s lifespan, a spouse must be willing to die to their need to:

  • get the last word
  • have their way
  • win the fight
  • make their point

A good marriage is built through a thousand small acts. As a husband and wife lay down their lives for one another, the marriage thrives.

In Life

Being willing to die for one another is vital for a healthy marriage, but it doesn’t stop there. While every potential spouse needs to be asked, “Are you willing to die for her?” there is a second question which needs to be asked. Are you willing to live for her?

It’s not enough to restrain yourself on behalf of your spouse. Love must also motivate us to action. It should inspire us to activity. (See: The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry)

While our spouse should never be the primary reason for our existence–God plays that role–we should live our lives, in part, for one another. My love for my wife should inspire me toward life.

What spouse wants to be married to someone who isn’t full of life? Sometimes life requires it. There are situations and seasons in which our spouses will not be vibrant or full of life. Yet, in most cases, marriage should be the intersection of two people who are full of life, light, and joy. Failing to live our lives to the fullest is not just a dereliction of duty to God, it’s also a failure of living up to our wedding vows.

5 Ways to Live For Your Spouse

In order to live for my spouse, I will:

1. Seek to contribute to the betterment of society. God has given me talents, abilities, and desires which are best expressed when trying to assist others. I will seek to use what I have to make life better for those around me, including my spouse.

2. Continue to learn, grow, and achieve. If we aren’t changing, we are dying. For as long as God gives me breath, I will seek to better understand myself, learn new skills, become a better man, and will attempt to achieve things.

3. Work on my own happiness and sense of self. My wife is not in charge of my happiness or my self-worth. We are both to bring happiness into marriage rather than demanding our marriage makes us happy. My identity is found in who God created me to be and what he has said about me. I will not expect my wife to give to me what can only be received from God.

4. Live in reality and will not avoid feelings. Life is full of joys and sorrows. It has many ups and downs. For me to live life, I have to engage in reality. I have to admit pain, accept heartache, while not allowing those hurts to hinder my ability to laugh and love. Stoicism is not living. Denial is not life. To live means I won’t pretend things to be one way when they are actually something else. I will laugh and cry. And I will welcome my wife into those moments of life.

5. Find my purpose in God. Humanity was created with a purpose. Until we understand our place in this world–as a supporting character, not the central figure–we can’t experience life to its fullest. In part, for my wife, I will seek a relationship with God so I can better understand who I am and what I am to do in life.

Marriage begins when two people are willing to die for one another, but it flourishes as two people learn to live for each other.

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