And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
(Ephesians 3:18 NLT)
I once met a woman who shared that she was getting married. Guessing by her age, I asked if it was her first marriage. “No, my second. I was married for 26 years. Hopefully this one will last a lifetime,” she said. I didn’t ask what had happened, but was saddened by her response. After all, 26 years is a long time. I realize that this woman’s story has become a tragic reality in the world we now live in, but I still can’t help but be disappointed with the failed marriages that I hear so much about. Men and women leave their partners of many (or sometimes a few) years because they no longer feel the same way about them. Have they really “fallen out of love” with them as they claim?
Many years ago, Jesus also met a woman, who was married not once or twice, but five times, and who was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. Jesus realized this woman’s real need. She was looking for love, but had failed to find it. That is why He met her at the well, offering her His living water. And it’s only after her encounter with Jesus, the source of love, that her thirst for love is quenched (John 4:3-30).
So to revisit my earlier question, have married couples really fallen out of love with each other? I believe that men and women who lack God’s love in their lives are willing to embrace any love that comes along. And when that love doesn’t promise to be fulfilling, they’re willing to look again for it in the next person that comes along. They fail to understand that all love must begin with the originator of love–God Himself. Without a relationship with Him, all other relationships will prove futile.
Understanding God’s great love for us will keep us from looking for just any love.