All You Need is Love2
As 400 million people in 25 countries watched, the Beatles performed, “All You Need Is Love” to close the broadcast, Our World on June 25, 1967. The manager of the Beatles said of the song, “It is a clear message saying that love is everything.” It sure makes for a catchy, feel-good song, but as for advice concerning a marriage—it falls short. I love my wife. My wife loves me. But if all we have in our relationship is love, as the Beatles have advised, it simply will not be enough. In fact, more than 50% of marriages fail today because love is not enough.
One man has said, “Love is spelled W-O-R-K.” In theory, we would like for love to be enough; but in reality, a successful, happy marriage requires more than love, it requires work. My marriage is a work in progress. Most marriages that are successful, enduring, and joyful have the same thing in common—work.
In Ephesians 5, Paul is giving instructions for marriage to the church in Ephesus. He says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:25) The initial command was love, but that wasn’t all there was to it. Jesus Christ, our ultimate example, loved the church, but the love that He had prompted Him to also give to it; and giving requires work.
Here are a few practical ways to work toward bettering your marriage:
Involvement. So much of life is being present, being actively involved in the lives of those around you. If you have a commitment, keep it; and prioritize to keep the most important people in your life actually involved in your life.
Invention. Try something new. Some couples do the same things day after day, week after week. Try a new restaurant, and new activity, a new type of date night. Some spontaneity could do your marriage some good. Don’t fall into the rut of always doing the same things together.
Investment. Someday I plan to retire. When I do, I want to make sure that I’m financially secure. So, I guess you could say that I’m investing today in order to have a better tomorrow. If you want your marriage to last to tomorrow, it will require an investment today.
The day you said, “I do,” nothing mattered more to you than having a great marriage. Now that you’ve been married for a while, I trust you’ve realized it requires much more than love to make a marriage actually work!