#5 – Wrong Motives
We’ve all done it. It’s our human nature to want to look good. When we look good we feel good, or so we think. That is until someone comes along (many times it’s our spouse) and pops our false image revealing the REAL me, the REAL us.
We are most tempted to want our marriage to look better than it is when we are around our peers. We want to fit in with the crowd, so no one notices our weaknesses. No one has to know what really goes on behind closed doors – the times of distance or lack of effective communication we allow; the amount of time that has passed since we last made love; the mean, critical thoughts we harbor about each other. After all, what would they think?
This is how wrong motives work in marriage. It is wanting a good marriage for the wrong reasons.
Many brides anticipate the wedding of their dreams, but give no thought for the “til death do us part.” Husbands likewise, can pursue and romance the one woman who has caught their eye for months. They gladly spend time and their hard-earned money putting their best foot forward, yet fail to continue pursuing and loving their bride day-after -day,”as long as we both shall live.”
Imagine a vineyard where the first two rows look great to the cars as they pass by, but don’t ever venture beyond this point or you won’t like what you see. Marriages which are motivated wrongly often distance themselves from true and meaningful relationships. They would rather have quick encounters with surface relationships, so no one gets too close. We think we’re protecting the reputation of the vineyard, but in reality we’re protecting the problem.
How can we change? How can we be motivated rightly? By being REAL, by being humble and admitting we don’t have all the answers! But we want to, and we know the One who does! God is ready and willing to help us find the answers we seek; to help us cultivate rightly. This is where change begins, as we truthfully face our lack and seek the answers we need.
We have a room in The Romantic Vineyard aptly called, Soil Samples. This is the place to find questions to help in growing your vineyard beyond the surface and superficial to deep and lasting maturity. This is where the best wines are produced where the roots grow deep and strong. Here are three examples taken from the Soil Samples Room to consider:
- What have you experienced in life that helps you to believe there is a loving God? Has anything ever happened that caused you to doubt that?
- Are you ever frightened about the future? If so, what frightens you?
- Think of all our married friends. What are some of the positive things you see in their marriages that you’d like to see us do?
Finally, we realize Hollywood is the one place where they excel at providing a false image of lasting love. But sometimes they get it right. Here is a quote from a Hollywood movie, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which actually speaks the Truth about lasting marriage, but we’re not condoning this movie as we haven’t seen it. But the quote is excellent!
“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
All the struggle, all the difficulty is producing in us something beautiful – oneness. But only if we are allowing God to work in us, honestly sharing where we are with those who love and care for us. Sometimes we have to do the brave thing, even if inside we’re scared to death. Marriage is serious, and it is hard work. But the fruit a healthy marriage yields will bless many as they pass by. They may even stop and take a long walk among the vines – way beyond the first two rows!