It's not if, It's whenI ride a motorcycle. I've never crashed or "gone down," yet. People say this all the time, "It isn't a question of if you're going down, it's a question of when."
So apparently, there's no getting around it. Eventually, one day, I'm going down on my bike. Because I have this awareness, I need to be prepared to the best of my ability both physically and mentally.
The Honeymoon Doesn't Last ForeverWhen a couple takes their vows on their wedding day, they don't actually believe the bad times will in fact accompany the good times. They can't fathom that sickness will ever occur, but only abundant health. They can't imagine that there will ever be times of financial need. And they certainly can't wrap their minds around the fact that their blissful celebration will ever eventually lead to arguments, discontent, and dare I say the deterioration of their feelings of love for one another.
Newlyweds - Fiancés and Fiancées - Boyfriends and Girlfriends - and anyone else in-between: The 'It'll never happen to me' syndrome is a fabrication in your own mind. Feelings come and go. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that is subjective to any number of random factors at any given time. So the fact of the matter is, all star-crossed lovers will eventually have feelings that fade. It's not if, it's a matter of when.
Something Better than HappinessJoy, my friends, is a much deeper and potentially unchanging anchor that can carry you through the longest deserts when temporal feelings of giddy-butterfly-filled-infatuation have long since dried up and withered away. The Bible teaches us to consider it "pure joy...whenever [we] face trials of many kinds" (James 1:2).
You see, joy is substantial. Happiness is fleeting and ever-changing.
If someone randomly hands me a $5 bill, I'm happy. Now the moment is gone and so is the happiness. It's that quick. Happiness is like a pleasant hiccup in my day. Sometimes it can happen several times per day, other times it might not happen at all.
Because happiness can lead us to believe that whatever triggered our positive response somehow equates to true satisfaction and fulfillment. The Apostle Paul wrote a popularly misquoted verse, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13). In context, he was writing about how he had endured both good times and bad. He had experienced hunger as well as times of plenty. Through all things and in all situations, he learned to be content (v. 11) because of his faith and hope in Christ Jesus. Therefore, he could endure all things through the power of Christ Jesus.
I hear this all the time, "I've fallen out of love." I even devoted a post to that subject entitled, "I've Fallen Out of Love." Many people use that excuse to justify either cheating or filing for divorce. Part of that comes from the ignorance of not understanding that love is truly much deeper than a skin-deep feeling.
It's better to tell you now; at some point in your marriage, you will experience a shift and change in your feelings for your spouse. Those changes will no longer feel like the initial so-called "in love" infatuation we all experience when a relationship is new. FYI: THIS IS NORMAL!!!
Because feelings come and go. That's just the way it is. But does this mean that you don't love your spouse just because your feelings of infatuation have changed? Absolutely not. The feelings of infatuation erode to make room for a deeper and more mature mutual-submission, oneness, and love. There's a great book called, "Every Man's Marriage" where Fred Stoeker thoroughly examines the Biblical teachings of marital oneness, love, and mutual-submission to one's spouse. That book is a must read for any married man (or man who wants to one day get married).
How to PrepareSo now that you understand it's not a matter of if, but rather when, it's time to prepare.
This is not a fix-all solution. This is not an all-encompassing "I have all the answers" self-proclaimed-guruish kind of thing. This is simply a tool to help you focus. This is one tool out of many that can help you during a time of distress. Here is a link to several other resources that provide amazing Biblical and Godly support for husbands, wives, and families: Forgiven Cheater Resources.
More than likely we have all seen something similar to the image at the top with the label, "Break Glass in Case of Emergency." I'd like to propose that you create your own 'break in case of emergency' box for your spouse.