When it Comes to Marriage, Staying in Love is a Choice

CAUTION: I’m on my soapbox today. If you don’t want to hear me get preachy … click another link and move right on. I probably don’t need to blog when I’m frustrated. :)

I heard it again the other day. The phrase I hear too often, and when I hear it, it makes me a little angry. This time it was a husband that said, “I’m not sure I want to stay in my marriage because I just don’t think I’m in love with my wife anymore!”

“I’m not in love anymore.”

“I don’t feel in love anymore.”

Any way you say it … it’s wrong.

You may not “feel” in love anymore, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t love your spouse. If we’re totally honest, the bible tells us that we don’t just fall out of love with someone, instead what we’re doing is choosing to stop loving them.

Notice what the bible says about loving our wives in Ephesians 5: 25 …

“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church, and gave up his life for her.” (NIV)

That said nothing about, “as long as you feel in love,” nor did it say, “Christ died for the church because he felt like he should.” The word “love” in that verse is “agape” love. Agape love is not a “feeling” word but an “action” word … meaning love is something you “do” not something you “feel.” You actually don’t fall “in love” or “out of love” with agape love … it’s an “I choose to love you” love.

So we must … choose to love!

If you think you don’t feel in love with your spouse anymore, you’ve misunderstood what true biblical love is. The love you and I should have for our spouse is a love that chooses to love … not a love that says, “As long as I feel in love.”

We don’t accidently fall “in” or “out” of love. Love is not an accident … it’s a choice. I choose to love my wife … on good days and bad days.

So if you don’t “feel” in love with your spouse anymore … do something about it … rekindle the flame. Seek outside help through a Christian marriage counselor, BUT don’t use the lame excuse of, “I want out of my marriage because I’ve fallen out of love with my spouse.” You didn’t fall “out of love” … you’re just choosing not to stay in love.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1165 articles by
27 Comments Post a Comment
  1. I agree with you, Trey…it is a cop out and is reflective of our pragmatic culture that believes and practices — if it’s working for me today, great, but if not, time to move on. We do choose to love. Kim and I choose to have a happy marriage. I choose to grow in love with my wife every day…we see challenges and disagreements as opportunities for growth, not reasons to distance ourselves from each other…and our love and marriage relationship grows a littlle deeper all the time. :-) Blessings, Don

  2. Joy Hall says:

    It irritates me when people go into marriage with the attitude, “if it doesn’t work out, then we’ll just get divorced.” Marriage is work and people CHOOSE not to work at it. If you choose to work on your marriage, then you can have a great marriage. No one ever said it was going to be easy, but anything worth having is worth working for.

  3. Sarah S. says:

    TESTIFY! You get my vote for King of the World… :-) Keep at it!

  4. eileen says:

    Amen to this! And by the way, this comes from someone on their second marriage. My first marriage was a very disobedient far from God choice. I know that, by His grace, I am forgiven for the path I was on. My second marriage (of 8yrs) and we are both believers and moving in the same direction. I sometimes don’t “feel” in love. But love goes so much deeper than a feeling. Love is an intentional choice we need to make every day. Great post.

  5. Katherine says:

    Amen, brother. I am not married…YET…but I know this is true!

  6. Laci says:

    Trey you did it again. You cut right to the heart of the matter. All about CHOICES!

  7. Jess says:

    When it comes to love only you can choose to apply it, that goes for anyone single or married. You have to choose to love God, your neighbors, one another; nobody can make you love or not love.

    Love is the best choice you can make.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    1 Cor. 13:4-7 (NIV)

  8. Bob says:

    I can relate to this too. My wife and I have been married 22 years. We have two boys (and, yes, Trey, growing way too fast here too!).
    The last 10 years my wife has had a chronic illness. Our marriage took a big hit. Like many couples, when we married, we didn’t have a clue. We knew we loved each other, though. Major illness has put us and our marriage to the test.

    I wish I could say we are done with that test – we’re not. But I can say that we’ve sought God and what His Word says about marriage and that has kept us going…kept us working at it. I hope my sons have seen the committment – and, yes, the love my wife and I have for each other.

    Life sometimes doesn’t turn out like we think it will. I’ve found that if we’re submitted to God, that’s not that big a deal.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Bob … you are an inspiration. Thank you for being a shinning light in marriage. My prayer is that all people will be as good to their spouses as you are to yours.

  9. Annie says:

    Love is something you do – action verb. I couldn’t agree with you more. Great post. Glad you “blogged angry”. :)

  10. Jessica says:

    We may not always LIKE them, but we still have the choice to LOVE them until we LIKE them again. Great post!

  11. Donna says:

    As someone who has been married 35 years let me add a hearty AMEN!!!

  12. YuVonna says:

    Trey, good job with your frustration. Thanks. I appreciate blogger Bob. Major and chronic illnesses make changes and cause stresses in marriage. Someone said to me upon hearing of a major diagnosis of my husband, “Oh, you didn’t sign on for this”. I was shocked and said, “Oh yes, I did sign on for this.” When we have been committed to God and each other for many years all the “little” stresses of the marriage prepare you for big hurdles when and if they happen. You stay committed. One does not stop loving or being in love. I read something recently I applied to the marriage during big stress events. “Life may not always be the party we hoped for but while we’er here we might as well dance!” We have taken our love for each other and are dancing.

  13. Rick Morgan says:

    Do you think that God always feels like loving you? Are you really that special?

    The only reason that you don’t feel it anymore is that you forgot what grace, forgiveness and mercy are all about and you forgot how awesome you feel when it comes your way.

    Choose to love and share some grace, forgiveness and mercy on your spouse, they will feel awesome and that will reap benefits for you.

  14. Completely agree!! There are days that my husband, Matt and I don’t necessarily agree, but we choose to work it out, and we choose to love each other. It really seems that in these times that a commitment, really is not that anymore, to most of todays society. It is a matter of convenience- a “thing” that can be tossed aside no matter who is involved (children, friends, family) because all the focus is on that one person (self) rather than the other person. Marriage takes work, it takes choosing to love no matter what faults you see in a person, it takes choosing to love when the times get difficult, it takes choosing to love when you have a newborn and are grouchy from the lack of sleep, it takes choosing to love when you are grouchy from being up late waiting for the teenager to get home (We are not there yet, but I remember my parents doing that for me), and it takes choosing to love when you don’t see eye to eye and satan is throwing all he can at you to make you crumble. I am certain there are days that Matt doesn’t really “like” me, but I know this- his choice to love me makes us all the more stronger!!

  15. Sueanne Smith says:

    Trey,

    I haven’t commented before, but have been following your blog for quite some time now. Thank you for the wonderful job you are doing writing about marriage and family.

    A while back my husband commented on your post about books on marriage and highly recommended ‘Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas. This book addresses this issue and what God intended marriage to be so well. It has become our go to book and the one we have started giving as part of couples wedding gifts. I even made sure our children had copies of it for Christmas.

    We work with a military congregation and are dealing with marriage issues constantly, and understand your frustrations completely. Somehow we have got to make couples understand it is not all about ‘feeling good and being happy’, but more about becoming more holy and honoring our commitments. AMEN to love is a CHOICE! Keep up the great work.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Sueanna, Thanks for the “first time” comment. See, it didn’t hurt too bad. :) I have a copy of the book Sacred Marriage and my wife and I have just started reading it together. Thanks for your comment. Blessings to you and your husband.

  16. Carl Feril says:

    In my twenty plus years as a marriage and family therapist and having worked with hundreds of couples in conflict, I can affirm what you are saying. Our feelings are about the choices we make, how we interpret the things that happen around us. If we want to change the way we feel in our marriages, we just choose to do it. We can’t control the reaction of a spouse, but we can certainly control our own actions and reactions.
    This is a part of bringing each thought and each motive into captivity to Christ.

  17. Maggie Beth says:

    Bring it!! Soapbox Preacher Man!! LUV IT!!! ~ Blog on……

  18. Truthseeker says:

    I am very thankful for your “soapbox”.

    According to Scripture, when two people marry, they become as one. If you don’t like your spouse, ultimately, it’s because of your own sin. God doesn’t give us an option when it comes to loving our spouses. He says if we hate our spouse, we hate ourselves. (Ephesians 5:28-29)

    You may not like your spouse’s behavior, but your inability to love your spouse regardless of that behavior, is your problem not your spouses.

    Marriage is a covenant bond. You made the choice to enter into that covenant on your wedding day, now you have to make the choice to Honor God in that covenant regardless of how your spouse acts.

    If you are professing to be a Christian, your only “choice” is to love your spouse as Christ loves you, and refuse to allow anyone or anything tear that love apart. (Matthew 19:6)

  19. Latoya says:

    Hi. This is my first time reading your blog and I must say I was deeply moved by what I read.I was searching for something to help me understand my marriage in hopes of me learning what I can do to make things better. My husband and I have been together 18 years and married 11 of them. I love him with all my heart but sometimes don’t feel he feels the same. I have never desired anyone else. He is not affection and I never hear your beautiful or I love you. I recently ask him if he was in-love or only loved me because of how he makes me feels and he would not answer. He says because I must have some intention. I fell since he would not answer it must be love. He is a great provider and wonderful father as we have four children. I also wonder since we don’t have relations could it be he has someone else. Please help!

  20. Latoya says:

    Also I looked up the book “Sacred Marriage” and found many different versions. which one should I start with?

    “Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy”

    “Sacred Marriage Participant’s Guide: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?”

    “Sacred Marriage: Celebrating Marriage as a Spiritual Discipline”

    ” Devotions for a Sacred Marriage: A Year of Weekly Devotions for Couples”

    ” Sacred Influence: How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands”

    ” Sacred Marriage Gift Edition”

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor ... who moonlights as the senior minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage & randomness.
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