“Why do most of us get lost somewhere between ‘once upon a time’ and ‘happily ever after’?”
— John Eldredge, Wild at Heart (2001)
God told me once, near on ten years now:
Fight for this marriage OF YOURS. Whatever occurs, there is no room for regret. There is room only for a fight. If you love her, you will fight passionately for her, for your relationship with her, for your mutual destiny together.
I believe that with all my heart, having believed, because I had to, that this book—Wild at Heart—had been written for me, and for my marriage, in the hope of saving it.
Alas, I fought hard for nine months; gestation enough for a new marital identity. And although I did everything in my power, and those efforts proved ultimately forlorn, I still now believe that fighting for a marriage that appears over is the only thing a man can do in not only attempting to save the marriage, and save her, but to save himself—all savings by the power of God.
The purpose of all the ‘saving’ is to fulfil the destiny of God. Those God put together should never be separated, but should grow in love together, more and more.
I still believe, that, where wives have finally given up, as mine had, that there is a tiny window of opportunity, no matter how desperate the case may be, where, for all our lives as husbands, we must turn our lives upside down and stop at nothing properly loving to rescue our beautiful wives by reinventing our love for them.
Three Powerful Reasons To Fight by the Power of Love
The first powerful reason we ought to fight by the power of love for our marriages—whether they are failing or not—and all marriages go through that tremulous, hopeless time of significant mutual doubting—is to convince our wives we love them so much they are the only important thing when all else is stripped away. (We fight only in ways that will be of obvious benefit to them—as our wives would define benefit.)
We are all wounded, but by our wives wounds we, as husbands, offer our strength.
This strength is borne of love. Again, she, like she was originally, is the only important thing.
A second reason we ought to fight by the power of love for our marriages is for ourselves. We are not only fighting for our wives, who may feel convinced we don’t love them, we are also fighting for ourselves—for our own male identity. If we don’t fight well enough (with not enough passion, courage, and sacrifice) we will feel we have failed, yet again. This is a fight of, and for, our manhood.
The third reason is simple. It’s all about the future, gathering within us a powerful picture—a vision—for how life might look like when we have either vision of stinging regret or vision of thankfulness that we followed a path by courage and by the wisdom of God.
As far as marriages are concerned, life is not of the past. Life is of the future. All that matters is the future.
We have no room for regret. We have no time for second chances at getting our marriages right. The time comes for all men to fight by the power of sacrificial love for their marriages.
It is incumbent on us men to show our chivalry; to show our wives that they are the most important thing on the face of this earth; that we believe, by the power and wisdom of God, that we are anointed to be their lovers in every good and imaginable way. This is the very fight of our lives—a fight where our wives come first, this time and every time.
Whenever a husband fights like this for his marriage, in spite of the final result, he walks away with no regret having been blessed by God to be his wife’s warrior.
Marriages have been under attack since time in memoriam. The husband must fight, with every sinew of love within him, to convince her of his love, and of his vision for their marriage. The devil cannot win the battle without a fight, as we husbands fight by the power of sacrificial love, sacrificing ourselves for our wives in service to them.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.