Yesterday, I posted this as my status on Twitter and Facebook: "Married folk need to stop loving their marriage and start loving their spouse! I wish people were half as concerned about their spouse as they are their marriage. I see nothing in the Bible calling us to love a marriage."
Since posting this, I have received several emails. So, I thought I would say more on this. If I am going to stir in the pot, let me stir it GOOD! ;-)
Here is what I believe: There is a danger "loving a marriage". We are not called in scripture to love a marriage. We ARE called to love our spouse, honor them, submit to them, prefer them above ourselves. The object focus of our love should be Jesus, then our spouse....not a marriage. I need to love Tricia! Then in doing so, I will naturally honor and respect the marriage covenant. I am not implying that the marriage commitment is unimportant...it just should not be an idol, and the love should be directed at the spouse, not the covenant.
Here is what I see happening all too often: People end up developing protective instincts and fears about the "marriage". They want the "marriage" to look good and the "marriage" to last. They are embarrassed if the "marriage" is struggling. I think that people can be in love with a marriage and NOT the person that they are married to. Please read that last sentence again.
I know that this is slightly different and somewhat controversial and my goal is NOT for everyone to agree with me, but to engage in thinking and increase your love for your spouse.
Did you marry a marriage? Or a person? If you love each other the way that the Bible says to, you will not need to worry about protecting a marriage, it will protect itself.