“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” Matt. 24:12 (NIV).
This scripture in the Lord’s great prophecy explains that wickedness or sin causes love to become cold. Are we presently living in a time of increased sin? Yes. As 2 Tim. 3:1-4 (NIV) reads, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, …without love, unforgiving,…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” We live in a time where the laws of the land protect sinful activities. Consequently, when loving feelings change, marriage vows are broken.
Specifically, how might a marriage grow cold? Many who marry try to make a strong, enduring bond based primarily on emotions. In most relationships the love and acceptance continue as long as the other person is meeting a certain level of expectation. If the feelings are warm, a husband and wife can enjoy one another's company and overlook the other’s annoying traits. They can still express affection.
But when the feelings cool, they now see their spouse as an imperfect person. Their unmet needs create hurt, promote defensiveness, and reduce positive communication. These issues build which heighten misunderstandings and fuel anger and bitterness. If forgiveness and reconciliation do not break this downward spiral, the ability to love one another is paralyzed.
This pattern in nearly all relationships may be avoided for awhile as long as the tough issues that provoke selfishness are obscured. But sooner or later reality hits. In spite of a couple's best intentions, they eventually realize that two independent people cannot both have all of their needs met all of the time. Consequently, they either divorce or enter into adulterous relations.
Jesus talked about married people having hard, cold hearts in Matthew 19:3-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
“The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”
He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
What does God say about marriage?
Genesis 2:18-24 New King James Version (NKJV), “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
For a relationship to succeed, it must first have God (the author of marriage) as its center. Then men and women need to learn how God tells us to relate to each other in marriage. Col. 3:18, 19 explains that wives need to respect their husbands and husbands need to love their wives. This doesn’t mean that men should be bossy and controlling in the marriage relationship. Husbands are to gently, tenderly love their wives as Christ loves His church! Wives naturally want to please their husbands. So, men appreciate and thank you dear wives for all they do for you. The direction God gives to wives is to be submissive or respectful of their husbands. The husband is the head of the marriage just as Christ is the head of the church. Believers don’t argue with Jesus. But we can discuss and reason with Jesus (Isa. 1:18). Jesus is open to our prayers. Yet, in the end, Christians honor Jesus’ headship. In like manner, wives should honor their husbands’ headships.These are wise directions from God.
When a marriage recognizes these basic guidelines, the union will grow and develop into maturity. We will certainly fall short in our relationships, and then we need to ask God for wisdom and grace to learn to heal our marriages.
God knows our faults and weaknesses. He has promised to help us on a daily basis. Additionally, He offers healing for scars and wounds we have collected from the past. For instance, He provides complete forgiveness and cleansing from wrong choices we may have made as teenagers in a relationship with the opposite sex. God loves us and wants us to enjoy the benefits of being His child, which include His help in our marriage. Proverbs 18:22 New King James Version (NKJV), “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.”