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Which Came First, Love or Marriage?

I came across an article today: LOVE AND MARRIAGE THE TORAH'S CRITERIA by Rivka Olenick.

It helped me think about my own marriage, and the way that many couples approach the idea of being together before they get married vs. what they think after the wedding. People often believe they know what love is after seeing a limited view of their spouse-to-be.

When they're asked, "why do you guys want to get married?" They say, "I just love the way he [fill in the blank]." or "She and I have so much in common".

But when a real test comes, like always having to pick her socks or dealing with his less than average meals (sic), both parties become greatly disenchanted. After they have the opportunity to discover more about the other person, the "love" fades and resentment moves in.

So what does it take to make it work? Of the happy couples I've talked with, most attribute their happiness to the real love that grows after marriage. Often times it's not a pretty love. Partners may have to get dirty, like gardeners who expect good things to grow after they've done the work and have overcome their selfishness.

This kind of love grows when they lose a loved one but can find comfort from God and each other during their grief. It's the kind of love that develops when they are in danger of losing their house or job, but can see beyond their circumstances. Or it's the kind that matures when they're able to overcome adultery and find forgiveness not only heals, but seals their bond to one another.

This love is not an overnight love. It doesn't come quick, and it is a challenge for our microwave society. But these couples keep pressing on, believing that happiness can be achieved. Fortunately, for most persevering couples, it is.

For all those people out there who are engaged or thinking about marriage, my suggestion to you? Find one of these couples who can be trusted. Model them and let them mentor you. If you don't know someone personally, email couples@marriagementors.org to find out how to get help with your relationship.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with this thought from the article I read:

"...marriages are contracted not as a result of passion and romance, but as a result of good judgment and sound reason. If the couple is well suited, the marriage will result in love and happiness. Marriages based on pre-marital infatuation, however, all too often fail the test of married life."

Keep your faith during the hard times. Keep your head when you want to lose it. And your heart will believe in a love greater than you can imagine.

Keishia Lee-Louis is the Editor and Publisher of http://www.Married4Good.com (launching November 2005). Her work has appeared on iVillage.com, BibleResourceCenter.com, and in numerous other printed publications.

Currently, she lives with her husband, daughter and son and is writing a book on marriage and relationships which will be published Spring 2006.

If you'd like to see more of her work, visit http://married4good.blogspot.com

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