A Passionate Pursuit
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. (Genesis 2:24)
This week we are going to talk about the second law of marriage—the Law of Pursuit. I underlined the words be joined in the Scripture above because these words are very important in understanding marriage. Even though the words look mundane on the outside—they are dynamic. They literally mean that a man is to “cling” to his wife for a lifetime. It also includes women in their relationships with their husbands.
The Hebrew word for “joined” or “cling” is the word dabaq. It is a very energetic word that means “to pursue with great zeal.” In the very beginning God told us the truth about marriage—it is work! That’s right! Marriage is work, and it only works when you work at it.
Couples fall in love because they work at the relationship. They try hard to impress each other, are careful to be sensitive to each other, and try to please one another. But then, once they are comfortable in the relationship, they start taking each other for granted and change the energetic behaviors that caused them to fall in love in the first place. The result is lost passion, boredom, and tension.
This is exactly what Karen and I did when we first got married. Our relationship began with an enormous amount of passion and goodwill that lasted for years. However, the more comfortable I became with the fact that Karen was going to stay with me, the more I took her for granted and the more I turned my attention to work, friends, and the pursuit of money.
The result was constant fighting that left us passionless and on the brink of divorce. The resurrection of our marriage didn’t come through any emotional breakthrough. It came as we realized what caused the breakdown—laziness, apathy, and taking each other for granted. When we realized this, we changed and started working at the relationship. As we did, the feelings slowly returned. Over time, they grew deeper and deeper and they have never stopped.
That was over thirty years ago, and today we have a very passionate marriage—because we work at it. Even after all of these years we know that if we don’t keep exerting effort toward each other and keep our marriage first—we will start experiencing problems.
Talk It Out | Do you feel that you sometimes take each other for granted? In what ways? Talk about some practical steps you can take to begin pursuing each other the way you did when you were dating.
Walk It Out | Next time you’re in the car together, reach for your spouse’s hand. The simple act of holding hands communicates an active interest in pleasing your spouse.