Following Jesus isn’t like a date. It’s like a marriage.
My wife and I recently celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary.
This notable achievement led me to reflect on the difference between a marriage and a date.
A date is a consensual transaction that (hopefully) makes me happy.
A date lasts only for a short period of time. A date is only for a specific purpose. A walk. A concert. A dinner. A movie. Conversation. Romance.
A marriage is a joy-filled consensual relationship that we remain committed to regardless of whether we are happy or sad.
A marriage is for so long as we both shall live.
A marriage is a joy-filled committed relationship that continues for better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health.
And so it is with following Jesus.
Following Jesus isn’t a transient transaction. It’s a committed relationship.
We don’t follow Jesus only for a short period. We don’t follow Jesus only for a specific purpose.
We don’t follow Jesus only when it’s fun—the spiritual equivalents of walks, concerts, dinners, movies, conversation, and romance.
Instead, we stay committed to Jesus forever.
We stay committed to Jesus whether we are happy or sad. For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health.
Sometimes, his yoke is easy and his burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30).
Other times, we have to pick up our cross and follow him. (Matthew 16:24).
But it’s always worth it.
Because nothing can ever “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:39).
Unfortunately, some marriages end for a variety of reasons, including abusive relationships with a spouse or children. Always protect yourself and children from any kind of abuse, including by moving out with the children, living separately from the abusive spouse or parent, and divorcing with sole custody.