First of two articles which address two central issues in marriage: love and money
Two factors impact marriages more than anything else: how you and your spouse understand Love (communication) and Money (finances).
In a marriage, these two elements can complement one another … or compete with each other.
Some conflict in marriage is inevitable. But a lack of oneness in communication and finances may lead you to feel stuck in your marriage or even prompt you to consider bailing out.
Whether you realize it or not, God’s pairing of you and your spouse is purposeful. The two of you can complete each other, particularly when it comes to your relationship and your finances.
But first, you must recognize the misconceptions that may stand in your way. Once you have a handle on the truths about love and money in God’s Word, you can apply them to produce a transformation in your life and in your marriage.
Recognize Misconceptions about Love in Marriage
It is easy for couples to enter into marriage with unrealistic expectations about love which are so prevalent in today’s culture.
- Misconception from the Media: “Love Is Romantic”
Movies, the internet, and books define love two ways: love is a romantic fantasy and love is about recreational sex. These falsehoods build a faulty foundation of expectations, one that you may easily and unknowingly absorb.
- Misconception about Dating: “Love Is Superficial”
Both sexes make a special effort to be physically appealing and emotionally engaging while dating. Truth can take a back seat in favor of superficial affirmation, largely based on the lie that you may not be accepted.
- Misconception about Family Behaviors: “Love Follows My Family Pattern”
Humans “reproduce after our own kind,” meaning we tend to mimic behavior modeled by those around us. You may unwittingly repeat behavioral patterns from your parents’ marriage relationship, even those that are flawed.
- Misconception about Human Nature: “Love Means You’ll Do It My Way”
Possibly the most destructive misconception about love is self-centeredness. It can be tempting to brush aside the small voice of conviction inside calling you to value your partner’s strengths– and instead buy into the lie that your needs must be met first. Pride, selfishness, ambition, insensitivity, cravings, and even a sense of entitlement are alive in the human spirit.
Most striking about each of these misconceptions about love is that they are deceptive. Each one is passed along, seemingly without challenge, through the media, culture, and human institutions – even our churches.
The deceptions come straight from the Enemy, who “is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44, ESV). Satan is eager to erect barriers to healthy, vibrant marriages. Misrepresenting love is a big one.
Embrace the Truth about Love in Marriage
The truth about love in marriage is quite different from the commonly-accepted lies. You can challenge the misconceptions about love by asking yourself these penetrating questions:
- Am I willing to put aside romantic or sexual expectations, and love my spouse as Christ loves each of us? (Ephesians 5:25)
- Am I willing to put aside my vulnerabilities and reveal deep thoughts, fears, and feelings to my spouse? (Ephesians 4:15)
- Am I willing to examine unhealthy behavioral patterns I learned in my family of origin and replace them with healthy ones? (Romans 12:2)
- Am I willing to trust God to use my strengths in my marriage, learn to value my spouse’s strengths, and blend them together? (Romans 12:6)
By accepting misconceptions about love, you may unwittingly plant seeds of failure in your marriage.
But when you know the truth about love, you can be set free to build a healthy, vibrant union.