by Rick Warren — July 26, 2022
From Awesome Relationships
“Love sincerely . . . Hold on to what is good. Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other.”
Romans 12:9-10 (GW)
Strong marriages are good for everyone. They benefit the individuals who are part of those relationships and can even help to strengthen whole societies.
Throughout history, marriage has been the fundamental building block of every society and culture. When marriages have been strong, nations have been strong. When marriages and families weaken, cultures decline.
Strong marriages benefit the individuals in the relationship too. God uses marriage to perfect your character. In relationships you learn to be unselfish and loving. If you get married, no relationship will have a greater impact on your life.
If you’re not married, God can and will use other people to build your character. I promise you—single people don’t get off the hook! Godly, others-focused singles play a critical role in flourishing cultures as well. In fact, sometimes, they play roles that married couples and those with children can’t. The truth is, societies also need singles to live in strong, fearless relationships with others.
Whether or not you’re married, one of the main purposes of life is to grow up and realize it’s not all about you. In fact, real happiness comes from giving your life away, being unselfish, serving, and loving. This is called maturity.
Life is a laboratory of learning how to love. It’s the most important thing in life because God is love, and he wants you to become like him. He wants to make you like Jesus Christ. He wants to build your character.
If you’re married, the number one tool that God uses in your life to build Christ-like character is your spouse. Every day you get hundreds of opportunities to think about the other person instead of yourself.
The Bible says, “Love sincerely . . . Hold on to what is good. Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other” (Romans 12:9-10 GW).
Do you do that in your marriage? Before I got married so many years ago, I really thought I knew how to love a woman. But I knew nothing about love! Now, after 40 years of marriage, I know that love washes the dishes. I know that love takes out the garbage. I know that love puts the other person first.
Excel in showing respect for each other so that you grow to be more like Christ. It will lead to a stronger relationship for you and a stronger society for everyone.