The counselor asked me when my fiance and I started our marriage counseling class in the church we were to get married.
“I love him. I am really in love with him.” I said very confidently expecting the counselor to nod in approval. Rather, he let out a chuckle and said:
“Marriage is more than being in love because sometimes along the way you are really going to feel you are no longer in love or that you fell in love with the wrong person.” He said very calmly.
“Sir, are you trying to discourage me? This guy is really a good person and one I am sure I could spend the rest of my life with.” I said still confident that I was in love enough to marry him.
“No, I will never discourage anyone from getting married to whoever they desire but I like to tell new couples that while dating and courting are like shadows, marriage is the real image. You have to be sure that that guy is THE PERSON you want to spend the rest of your life with. After the wedding, there will be some changes about and in him that you may not like. I hope you know that then you CANNOT fall out of love with him? Marriage is like entering a room with the lock on the other side; where neither the husband nor the wife can open the door except God. You are stuck in that room with the choice you make.”
I thought about the much he said and still knew I was making a decision of faith! That was how I saw and still see it. Since I could not go into the future to see what ten or twenty years will be like being married to him, I concluded that marriage has to be by faith. You CANNOT know ALL of the other person except as God allows.
“Yes, I still want to marry him in spite of what tomorrow may bring but I know God will not allow me suffer in marriage if He intends it is for good.”
I did not know if I convinced him enough or if he was just doing his job but I knew I wanted to get married at that time though fully aware of the fact challenges would come. For that I was already equipping myself.
One of the lessons I learnt from one of my mentors – Pastor Bimbo Odukoya is that marriage is a ministry – it takes more than just falling in love. It is a responsibility we are accountable for. Unfortunately, most people get married because they are in love and end the marriage when they ‘fall out of love’. Not until I got married and having my own experiences did I understand what my counselor meant when he said, “you CANNOT fall out of love with him.” I discovered that as we grow together and get to understand each other better love grows and flow naturally. We never fall out of love; we only needed to grow more in love!
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Proverbs 5:18-19 ESV
The unfortunate truth is, romantic love like other emotions changes with time. As you get used to one another the feeling is no longer the same like when you were dating but does not mean less of what you felt before you got married. The initial excitement and adrenalin of the first few years fades away with the passage of time; especially when the children starts coming and one spouse needs to take a more time consuming job to increase income. It will take each of the spouse deliberate efforts to maintain the thrill and romance so that one is not tempted to seek it outside the home.
Sometimes people find it difficult to deal with this problem as they believe they need the excitement, passion and love rekindled.
A man was flirting with one of the young girls at work and when his friend cautioned him he said, “My wife is old.” It was meant to be a joke but I felt it was a very expensive one when I overheard and wanted to know if he did not know she would grow old before he married her. The issue was they have been married for over fifteen years with three children and he does not find her as attractive as when he married her. He was simply being selfish! Was he was expecting her shape to still be the same with age and after giving birth to three children.
I understand that because of negligence on the part of some women it may make their husband find them unattractive and be tempted by some other woman they find more attractive. A husband should not give the excuse because he wants another woman’s body that is yet to have as much children as his wife or has not seen tolls of years as his wife.
I am not trying to sound hard on men here. It rarely happens to them because our society considers it more shameful for a married woman to see another man. So how come it is almost normal for a married man to be seen with another woman? It is no big deal if a man is CAUGHT having extramarital affairs, but the woman can be banished if she finds herself in same position. It happens even in the church!
It is better to fall in love and remain that way or walk into love and grow than to fall in and fall out. You will eventually fall in love with as many you may not be able to remember.
I wish your union plenty of bliss!