The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Building Love in Marriage

A young couple decided to wed. As the big day approached, they grew apprehensive. Each had a problem they had never before shared with anyone, not even each other.

The Groom-to-be, overcoming his fear, decided to ask his father for advice. He said, "I am deeply concerned about the success of my marriage. I love my fiancée, very much, but you see, I have very smelly feet, and I’m afraid that my future wife will be put off by them."

"No problem," said dad. "All you have to do is wash your feet as often as possible, and always wear socks, even to bed." Well, to him this seemed a workable solution.

The bride-to-be, overcoming her fear, decided to take her problem up her mom. "Mom," she said, "When I wake up in the morning my breath is truly awful." "Honey," her mother consoled, "everyone has bad breath in the morning." "No, you don’t understand. My morning breath is so bad, I’m afraid that my new husband will not want to sleep in the same room with me."

Her mother said simply, "Try this. In the morning, get straight out of bed, and head for the bathroom and brush your teeth. The key is, not to say a word until you’ve brushed your teeth. Not a word," her mother affirmed. Well, she thought it was certainly worth a try.

The loving couple was finally married in a beautiful ceremony. Not forgetting the advice each had received, he with his perpetual socks and she with her morning silence, they managed quite well. That is, until about six months later.

Shortly before dawn, the husband woke with a start to find that one of his socks had come off. Fearful of the consequences, he frantically searched the bed. This, of course, woke his bride, who, without thinking, immediately asked, "What on earth are you doing?"
"Oh, no!" he gasped in shock, "You’ve swallowed my sock!"

No one is perfect and every marriage has it’s struggles. That is why unconditional love is so important to the marital relationship. An important key to a successful marriage is the decision to never put qualifications on love or marriage. I understand why some people say that God has one person picked out for your marriage, but that view can be dangerous. The danger comes when trouble develops between the two. When an argument occurs, one can decide, “Well I must not have found “the one” God chose for me so I’d better go back out there and find that “one.” When you vow to have and to hold for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part, God sees that person as the one He has for you.

Please understand this. God does not desire that you remain within reach of a person who abuses you. But He also does not want a person to give up on a relationship just because it takes work to build. Another key to building a marriage based on unconditional love is honest and loving communication. People who are committed to God and to each other will successfully work through differences and troubles by sharing openly their needs and concerns as they learn submission to God and each other.

This Sunday we will share a message titled True Love In Christ based on Paul’s writings in Ephesians 5:21-33. In that message he compares the marriage relationship to that of Christ and His church. Hopefully we can increase our understanding of both vital relationships. Through this teaching, we can grow closer to God and to each other.

Loving with you like Jesus,

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