Many people get married and instantly lose passion for each other. If you are single and desire to be married one day, obviously you don’t want this to happen to you.
So here are 5 things the Lord will teach you in singleness to help prepare you for a long-lasting, passionate marriage one day.
1. God Will Prepare You for Passion in Marriage By Teaching You to Embrace Delayed Gratification
Passion is not something that can be experienced all the time. It’s unrealistic to taste a moment of passion and then demand your life to always make you feel that way. It’s a lot like being extremely hungry and then taking a bite of food that overwhelms you with satisfaction. This extreme pleasure occurs because there were two variables present: 1. A deep hunger. 2. A desirable piece of food.
Likewise, if you want to have passion that will last for the whole of your marriage, you need two variables: 1. A deep hunger for love. 2. Someone who you love deeply. This is why delayed gratification is so needed if you want passion in marriage. Even if you marry someone who you love deeply and who loves you deeply, if you are not able to allow your deep hunger for love to be satisfied at the appropriate time rather than giving into false lovers and idols, you won’t have passion in your future marriage.
Porn use, for example, steals the ability to have passion for your spouse because you are satisfying your cravings away from your spouse. If you resist porn, however, by the end of the week, your passion for your spouse will be so strong you will get to experience a passionate moment with your spouse.
But this principle goes beyond the sexual. Even when it comes to experiencing emotional passion, you have to wait for those moments in life to build. You can’t expect to have passion every moment. Sometimes a husband and wife need to vacuum the house, go to work, cook dinner, deal with stressful relatives, and so on. But when you stay present through the mundane parts of life with each other, the delayed gratification allows your desires to build so you can then reconnect emotionally at the right time.
If you want passion in your future marriage, learn how to embrace delayed gratification in your singleness. Song of Solomon 3:5, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”
2. God Will Prepare You for Passion in Marriage By Teaching You that It Is Better to Give than to Receive
One way passion spoils between spouses is when each person is selfishly demanding the other person to fulfill their own desire. When two people are trying to control each other and make the other person make them happy, fights always happen. This is a recipe for disaster – or worse, divorce.
Passion in marriage is so rare because it’s hard to find two people willing to put each other before themselves. It’s common to find two selfish people miserable together. It’s less common but still somewhat common to find one person willing to sacrifice themselves for another while the other person is selfishly using them. But it is truly rare for a husband and wife to both willingly and consistently put the other person above themselves.
Passage in the Bible about selfless love can scare us. Philippians 2:3-4, for example, makes us uncomfortable. It reads, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
This is scary because it feels like if we do what this Bible passage says, we will get taken advantage of. It seems self-deprecating and shameful to count other people as more significant than us. But this fear only occurs because we are missing the full context of the command. We are not the only ones commanded to love in this way. Those in our lives are commanded to love us in this way too. Notice it says, “Let each of you,” meaning you should love like this and others should love you like this.
If you view the other person as more important than you, this will only be dysfunctional if they agree with you and think they are more important than you too. But when this person is treating you with the same kind of love and they are considering you more important than themselves just like you are doing for them, then healthy vulnerability can really take place.
So if you want to have passion in marriage, you have to do your part and learn to put others above yourself. But you also have to marry someone who will treat you the same way. When you both are doing this for each other, passionate love can take place. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35).
3. God Will Teach You How to Take Kingdom-Minded Risks, Which Will Add to Your Ability to Experience Passion in Marriage One Day
Routine can be the death of passion. Novelty is often connected to excitement. If you love safety more than anything else in your life, it’s unlikely you will be able to experience lasting passion in marriage one day because you will eliminate all risk.
Risk is needed to remain passionate for Jesus. God designed us all to need new things in our lives for us to stay healthy. I’m not saying all routines are bad or living stable, safe lives in practical ways is bad. We are not called to take foolish risks. But when we never take risks for Jesus and we find a safe spot in life and we never leave it, our walk with God will suffer because when we are not growing we are dying.
Psalm 96:1-2 states, “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.” If you want a daily passion for God, you can’t sing the same old song all the time. Sometimes you need to sing a new song!
This same principle applies to marriage. When a couple is willing to take kingdom-minded risks together, the adventure will create passion in their relationship together too. But if they love safety and don’t ever risk for God, their whole life will be boring, including their marriage.
4. God Will Prepare You for Passion in Marriage By Teaching You How to Create Emotionally Safe Places for People
For passion to occur in marriage, there needs to be vulnerability. But people stop being open when they start doubting they can do this safely. We need to guard our hearts, as Proverbs 4:23 commands. When we feel someone can’t be trusted with our hearts, we shut down towards them.
Marriages often become passionless because spouses stop trusting each other after they have hurt one another. This is why you must learn how to respect people, how to not judge them when they open up, and how to offer deep forgiveness when offenses take place.
Of course you will need to wait for marriage to experience this fully in a romantic setting, but you must begin to learn these things now in singleness so you are ready to learn them more deeply in marriage rather than just learning them for the first time.
If you forever close your heart when someone hurts you, you will close your heart to your future spouse because every spouse hurts each other eventually because we are all sinful (Romans 3:23). But God turns what then enemy meant for evil into something good when a husband and wife learn to forgive deeply because then they will actually love each other even more because they have been through something hard together. When you still love each other after a trial, you are able to trust your love for each other more deeply because now you have evidence that this person is not leaving when things get hard.
When you know that no matter what, you will never leave this person and this person will never leave you, this allows you to be vulnerable. And when you are vulnerable and open, passion can occur.
So if you want passion in marriage one day, learn to forgive, learn to care for people’s hearts, and learn to create emotionally safe places so you can offer these gifts to your future spouse one day.
5. God Will Prepare You for Passion in Marriage By Teaching You that Commitment Is the Fuel for Passion and Passion Can Never Be the Fuel for Commitment
Passion dies without commitment. Why? Because, again, it’s not possible to always experience passion in relationships. You can always experience love, you can always experience faithfulness, but things like passion are best experienced in moments rather than in every moment. People can run marathons. People can sprint at moments during a marathon. But no one can sprint for an entire marathon. Likewise, no one can run at the highest emotional level all the time in a relationship.
So if you are only interested in the emotional high that comes with passion, this will be really bad for your future marriage. But, if you learn how to offer commitment and faithfulness, you will then get to experience the highs of passion too.
In other words, if you value passion over commitment, you will lose both. But if you value commitment over passion, you will gain both in marriage one day. If you want passion in marriage, you have to love each other like God loves us, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV).
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