When I Need A Love that Grows

Remember the opening line of the 80’s love ballad, Foolish Heart, (sung by Steve Perry)?  …”I need a love that grows.” 

When I Need A Love that Grows

Well, Debbie and I just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary, which has me in a reflective mood; and I would like to share one, simple question I’ve been chewing on lately.  My hope is that you’ll chew on it in your own marriage.  Here it is:

Has my love for her grown over the past year?

The question stems from wondering what is reasonable to expect from a marriage…from my marriage.  I mean reasonable in a real world kind of way.   Marriage books, blogs, and articles have a tendency to raise the expectation bar a little high, in my opinion.  I think this question is both reasonable, and challenging.

This question also stems from one of Paul’s prayers in the New Testament:

And this is my prayer, that your love will keep on growing more and more
-Philippians 1:9 (International Standard Version)

Keep on growing?  Yep.

I think its reasonable to say that God expects growth.  Like the parable of the Talents, God gives us a gift (in this case, the gift of love) and He expects it to grow and even multiply.  Of course, this applies to our love for him and others; so it would especially apply to the marriage relationship.  And like the parable of the talents, we’re accountable to Him for its growth.

Here it is again…

Has my love for her grown over the past year?

Try to resist the urge to dismiss the question by assuming your love for your spouse grows automatically; that somehow, if given enough time and space, your love for each other will grow if you can just manage to stay together.  Therefore, there’s no reason to think about it.

This much I know:  love needs to grow.  Why?  Because Jesus said love can be forsaken (Revelation 2:4), and it can also grow cold (Matthew 24:12).  In fact, He said the love of most will grow cold.

And this is my prayer, that your love will keep on growing more and more -Philippians 1:9 Click To Tweet

If you’re like me, some of you reading this have a good marriage.  It’s not perfect, but you’re happy together.  If that’s you, then I think this question is especially challenging because the need for growth isn’t as obvious.  A struggling couple, on the other hand, is aware of their need for growth.

The goal isn’t simply to stay together, its to grow – to build a love that grows, not just a love that lasts.

The goal isn't simply to stay together, its to grow - to build a love that grows, not just a love that lasts. Click To Tweet

I realize this post is more reflective than informative.  My goal this time isn’t to provide an insightful truth and then conclude with “5 ways to make your love grow.”  That would be too easy.

Rather, I’m asking you to embrace the question in your own marriage context and come to your own conclusions.  Wrestle with it.  Chew on it this week.  Bring it to God in your prayers and see what He might impress upon your heart.

Has your love for you spouse grown in the past year?

    Stephen has been blogging since 2014, and he enjoys writing honestly and openly about married life. He and Debbie are high school sweethearts and have been married for 20 years. They love a meaningful conversation, a rich cup of coffee, an inspiring movie, a perfectly prepared meal, and planning their next vacation.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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