Marriage, from the biblical point of view, is supposed to be blissful. True and genuine love has a magnetic pull that makes the people in love to spite all sorts of danger and obstacles in their bid to get together and remain in their new world of bliss. Not even biological parents of two lovers can exercise supreme power to prevent the lure of two hearts that are resolved to merge in marriage. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
The bliss that explodes in the hearts of a couple newly in love is better experienced than explained. This is because except one has truly been in love; he can never understand what it feels like to be truly in love. Little wonder then that the Scripture says “love is strong as death” (Song of Solomon 8:6). That bliss that is felt at the entry point of marriage is actually meant to remain that way “till death do us part.” However, this has not been the case. Only very few couples have been able to maintain that excitement and flame of passion far into old age after marriage. To some couples, that feeling is only experienced the moment they are struck by the cupid’s dart. No sooner than they had answered “I do,” than they become strangers in the home. The bliss is gone and tolerance begins. They either separate or live unhappily ever after.
Why does the passion go out?
According to Sonja Lyubomirsky (2020), a seasoned psychologist, humans are in the throes of passionate love, a state of intense longing, desire and attraction. They have the rare capacity to experience great happiness when love is new. She opines that part of the reason the passion wanes after marriage is because “sex in a long-term committed monogamous relationship involves the same partner day after day and no one who truly human (or mammalian, for that matter) can maintain the same level of lust and ardor that he or she experienced when that love was uncharted and new.”
Maintaining bliss in marriage
Julie Baumgardner (2017) writes that for couples to experience bliss in marriage, there must be sustained healthy communication, and there must be effective conflict management. She opines that “the wife’s ability to calm down quickly after an intense argument positively impacts the long-term happiness of the couple. According to her, research has revealed that couples who say “we” stand a higher chance of resolving domestic conflict.
Writing from the biblical perspective, however, Stephen Arterburn recommends that for bliss to be sustained in marriage, couples should learn to
- Never to bring up mistakes of the past.
- Neglect the whole world rather than each other.
- Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.
- At least once a day, try to say something complimentary to your spouse.
- Never meet without an affectionate welcome.
- “For richer or poorer” – rejoice in every moment that God has given you together.
- If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate.
- If they are breathing, your mate will eventually offend you. Learn to forgive.
- Don’t use faith, the Bible, or God as a hammer.
- Let love be your guidepost.
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