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This week I share something that has been heavy on my heart. I encourage you to forward this week's HeartTouchers message on to family and friends. You never know who might need to read this article this week!
From My Family to Yours,
Author Michael T. Powers
Love is a Decision, Not a Feeling
by Michael T. Powers
I have been officiating a lot of weddings this summer and fall. When you are involved in youth ministry for 30 years, the weddings eventually catch up to you! As a videographer, I have videotaped hundreds of weddings and I have heard a lot of wedding messages given by ministers over the years. And I can tell you, that as a society we do a horrible job of preparing people for what marriage is truly like. Marriage is the toughest, most gut wrenching, and mentally exhausting thing you will ever experience in your entire life.
I wonder if any couple on their wedding day has even the slightest clue the amount of hard work that is ahead of them.
I wonder if any couple on their wedding day really understands the type of commitment that is necessary to make a marriage work for even a month, let alone a life time.
I wonder if any starry-eyed bride and groom truly understands the solemness of this ceremony and more importantly, how seriously God takes the vows that they make to each other.
Because of that, couples enter into marriage with false hopes, false dreams, and false expectations… and they become disillusioned, distant, and eventually divorced.
Society will tell you that it is what YOU get out of a marriage that counts. It will tell you that YOU deserve to be happy in life. And when you are no longer “happy” in your marriage it is time to end it.
If you went into your marriage with the preconceived notion that marriage was designed to make you happy, then chances are your marriage will not last. As Author Gary Thomas talks about in his book “Sacred Marriage”, God didn’t design marriage to make us happy. He says, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”
Don’t get me wrong. There are moments of happiness, and more importantly, great joy in marriage. But true fulfillment is attained when we die to ourselves in loving others. Not when we set out to make ourselves happy.
The best thing that my beloved bride Kristi and I have ever learned in our 27 years of marriage was this simple truth.
Love is a decision, not a feeling.
Let me write that again. Love is a decision, not a feeling.
You and your spouse need to commit to waking up every morning and CHOOSING to love each other, even when the feelings might not be there. When you do that through some rough patches in your relationship, you will be amazed at how the "feelings" will follow.
Grooms, as beautiful and charming and loving as your wife is, she will never complete you. She will never make you truly happy. She will never fulfill the deepest longings of your heart.
The truth is that you both were made for a love far deeper, far richer than any human relationship could ever offer. The void in the human heart is God-shaped, not spouse shaped.
You will both let each other down on a regular basis. Why, because we as human beings fall miserably short of being God. No human being can meet all of our needs. No human being deserves to live under that much pressure. No spouse can be "God" in your life.
But Jesus Christ can. And He does.
Jesus once said that no one has greater love than the one who will lay down his life for his friend. And then he proved it by giving up his life as a sacrifice to pay our sin debt. A debt we could never pay on our own. Find your meaning and purpose and your identity in Christ and not in each other.
When you focus on Christ and not your spouse meeting those deep needs in your life, you will be amazed at what that will do for your marriage.
I don't know why I felt so strongly moved to post these words today. But it is my hope that someone out there needed to read this. That someone out there was thinking of throwing in the towel...
Don't you dare give up and go back on your vows. Those vows made before your spouse, those witnesses and a Holy God.
Kristi and I struggle in our marriage from time to time, but we made a decision a long time ago that divorce was not an option.
I just want to encourage you and say, "IT IS WORTH IT!"
There is no more powerful force for God on this earth, than a husband and wife who are committed to Christ, committed to each other, and committed to raising Godly children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Your marriage is worth fighting for. Never let your guard down. Fight for it every second of every day. Fight for it with every fiber of your being!
That is worth fighting for. Never let your guard down. Fight for it every second of every day. Fight for it with every fiber of your being!
Michael T. Powers
Write Michael and let him know your thoughts on this story!
He is also an author with stories in 30 inspirational books including many in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and his own entitled: Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter." To preview his book or to join the thousands of world-wide readers on his inspirational e-mail list, visit: http://www.HeartTouchers.com
Most importantly, Michael believes that life is not about religion, but about a relationship -- a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Creation Q & A
Opportunities to Shine in a Dark Sin Cursed World
Because of the Curse, we have a ready-made platform to shine as lights in a dark world.
The Curse has real-life implications that go much deeper than academic questions about science and theology. God expects us to put feet to our biblical worldview. Knowing that we live in a fallen and cursed world, we need to go out and serve hurting individuals.
Jesus Christ set the example, and He expects us to follow. “I was hungry and you gave Me food . . . I was sick and you visited Me” (Matthew 25:35–36). These aren’t just idle words but Christ’s commission to every disciple.
Because of the Curse, we have a ready-made platform to shine as lights in a dark world. So why don’t we follow Christ in this area, and serve? For most of us, the problem is not heartlessness or lack of opportunity. We simply need good ideas and guidance—and perhaps a little push.
How Do You Get Started?
Assistance for the Elderly
With the retirement population growing, various programs are becoming popular.
Hospitals are eager for volunteers, who do everything from running errands in the emergency room to delivering newspapers to patients. While only qualified professionals can counsel, your faithful service will open opportunities to talk with staff and other volunteers.
Homes for Children
In God’s eyes, “pure religion” means compassion on widows and the fatherless (James 1:27). In today’s world, that includes helping single mothers with “crisis pregnancies” and foster care.
Don’t wait until the next catastrophe. Make contacts now and get the training you need so you’ll be ready when the need arises.
Food & Clothes For The Needy
Christ said, “You have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good” (Mark 14:7). You can serve whenever you wish!
Service at Church
As Christians, we must never lose focus on our number one goal—glorifying the Creator and Savior. Serving others is just a means to that end. Often the best place to begin looking for ways to serve is your church. God has raised up the church both to preach God’s Word and to “serve tables,” as Peter described the need to help widows (Acts 6:1–4).
Helping others is not limited to Christian ministries. Any community service allows you to meet others and to share the love of Christ with fellow workers, as you serve together.