Do those feelings last? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
She came into the seminary post office where I was working and was talking to me and a co-worker. They were talking about marriage and how she was still a newlywed. She said she still was in that honeymoon stage and that she hoped this feeling would last forever.
“It won’t,” I said.
Hey. I cut to the chase.
I then went on the explain that that’s a good thing. If that feeling lasted forever, you would never be able to function. Who could go through their lives with a lovesick attitude going on around them constantly? When you enter the stage of falling in love, you can’t think of most anything else and the person is the most perfect individual God ever made.
However, because those feelings fade, that allows you to move into a deeper stage. This is a stage that transcends your feelings. I told her that one day if you haven’t already, you will wake up and ask yourself, “Why did I ever marry this bozo?” When you wonder why you married someone, you have to remember that you did marry them and your responsibility to the covenant doesn’t depend on your feelings.
After all, anyone can do loving things when they feel like it. What accomplishment is that? It’s when you don’t feel like it that you are definitely acting out of true love. True love is not demonstrated in the feeling, but it is in the absence of the feeling.
Could this also indicate a danger in our situations today that we are often chasing after perpetuating a feeling, which never lasts forever, instead of building up the covenant the feeling is about? We also do the same with Christianity. How do we know what God is telling us supposedly? Look at your feelings. Do you feel led? Do you feel like you are being called? Then someone feels like God is angry with them or has rejected them and all of a sudden the feelings aren’t reliable. When the feelings are what we want, we trust them. When they’re not, they’re not reliable. Wonderful system.
This is not to be opposed to emotion either. It’s to say that it can’t be our diet. C.S. Lewis said that emotion can be the explosion that starts the engine, but it can’t run on that emotion. It needs to get locked into something steady and unchanging. Something firmer than that. It’s realizing you’re locked into something greater than yourself. You have a commitment to more than just your immediate happiness. You refuse to do what is wrong just because you want something for yourself.
Of course, in any marriage, it’s okay to have disagreements and even fights if you will. I get concerned when I hear of couples who aren’t having those. What will be remembered in the times when the relationship is the hardest is that you made a promise regardless of your feelings. The same applies to your Christian walk as well. Our feelings can be powerful motivators, but they are horrible guides.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)