“I don’t know if I love you anymore.” One of the most gut wrenching sentences a wife or husband could ever hear. If you’ve ever walked through that kind of difficulty in your marriage, you understand how that one simple sentence can completely rock the very foundation of your life. I want to give you a different perspective on what is behind those words and hopefully give you a new way of approaching a strained relationship.
You know that 2 people in a marriage are not always going to feel loving toward one another. In your mind, you know this and agree with it. But when it’s your spouse saying “I’m not sure I love you,” all logic and head knowledge flies out the window when those words are driving a knife into your heart.
Is there any hope for the relationship? There absolutely is hope and it’s a simple solution. Simple does not mean easy though. Look at this as an opportunity for growth. 🙂
The person who is saying: “I don’t know if I love you” is generally thinking something like:
- “I’m not happy in this relationship.”
- “My spouse just doesn’t make me happy any more.”
- “I don’t like our situation and I think a change of relationship will solve the problem.”
If we make decisions, be it a relationship decision, a career decision, or a financial decision, based on feelings, we are letting our life be run by emotion and not by truth. There’s more on controlling our emotions here.
A Covenant with God
Although most of us get into marriage because of how we feel about another person, you will not stay married if you continue to rely on your feelings to keep the marriage intact. Once we stand before God and enter into marriage, we have entered a covenant; A binding agreement between two people and God that says we are sealed together under His promises. In the Old Testament a covenant between God and His people was a “solemn and binding force” not to be taken lightly nor broken easily. It was a gift or guarantee, given from a superior party to an inferior party.
Keeping this covenant is like keeping a legal contract. It has absolutely nothing to do with how we feel, it has to do with our integrity, our promise to God to honor our side of the agreement. Breaking this agreement is tantamount to taking a gift from God and later rejecting it because we no longer “feel” good about it.
The problem comes in because we have this misconception that it is our spouse’s responsibility to make us happy, or at the very least, we should easily and always feel happy when we are with them. If we don’t, then we assume there must a problem with the marriage and the best fix is to break up the marriage and find a new situation. We are looking for our external situation to provide happiness.
Time to Grow Up
It’s time to take responsibility for our own lives and stop looking to outward situations, or other people, or even our own feelings, to determine our course. As a married Christian, you have entered into a three-way relationship and the God of the universe is the majority partner. He is there to oversee, to guide, and to provide for everything you need out of the relationship.
Isn’t that a wild thought? Your spouse was not given to you to fill all your needs. They were never meant to love you unconditionally, at least not in their own power or out of their own feelings. God is your provision. He loves you though your spouse. He loves your spouse through you. Your job is to seek greater intimacy with Jesus, to subject every part of your life to His will, to understand and live out His ways. In keeping your focus on the Lord, He will be free to move through you into the lives of the people around you, including your spouse. While we’re at it, here’s another way to Revitalize Your Relationship
If I haven’t totally cramped your brain with wild thoughts yet, here’s one more:
God is love. God is not a feeling, He is a being. Thus Love is not a feeling, it is His spirit. When we choose to put God first in our life, to make Him central to every aspect of life, we are choosing love; Choosing to receive it and choosing to let Him be Love to others through us.
Back near the beginning I mentioned that people say things like “I don’t know if I still love you” because of thoughts in their head like, “I think a change of relationships will solve the problem.”
Actually, that is true. What’s false is WHO we think we need to change our relationship with. The change is not between us and our spouse, or between us and that attractive co-worker. The change needs to come between us and Jesus. When we deepen our relationship with Him, He will cause the joy in our heart to grow and fill us. We will no longer look to our partner to fill that need and we will be free to love them, even when we don’t “feel” loving toward them.