Loving the Spouse God Has Given You

A young couple were on their honeymoon. The husband was sitting in the bathroom on the edge of the bathtub thinking to himself, Now how can I tell my wife that I've got really smelly feet and that my socks absolutely stink? I've managed to keep it from her while we were dating, but she's bound to find out sooner or later... 

Meanwhile, the wife was sitting in the bed thinking, How do I tell my husband that I've got really bad breath? I've been lucky to keep it from him while we were courting, but as soon as he's lived with me for a week, he's bound to find out. 

The husband finally garnered up enough courage to tell his wife. He walked into the bedroom, over to the bed, climbed in next to his wife, put his arms around her neck, moved his face very close to hers and says, "Darling, I've a confession to make." And she says, "So have I, love." To which he replies, "Don't tell me, you've eaten my socks!" 

Have you ever asked this spiritually dangerous question, "Did I marry the right person?" If we want our marriage to grow in love, we need to be thinking something completely different: How can I love the spouse God gave me? A character in the Anne Tyler novel, A Patchwork Planet, comes to realize this too late. The 32-year-old narrator has gone through a divorce and now works in an occupation that has him relating almost exclusively with elderly people. As he observes the long-standing marriages, he comes to a profound understanding:

I was beginning to suspect that it made no difference whether they'd married the right person. Finally, you're just with who you're with. You've signed on with her, put in half a century with her, grown to know her as well as you know yourself or even better, and she's become the right person. Or the only person, might be more to the point. I wish someone had told me that earlier. I'd have hung on then; I swear I would. I never would have driven Natalie to leave me.*

A long lasting good marriage is God’s idea! The first step it to commit to his plan and accept the spouse He has given to you. Just as we know that choosing God’s plan for our marriage is the beginning of having a good, long-lasting one, so we must also guard against the envy and fruitless wondering of the "What ifs".


*Tyler, Anne. A Patchwork Planet. New York: Penguin, 1998. Print.