“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Once you get married, other married couples are constantly giving you advice on how to make sure you have a great marriage. They say you need to develop your marriage, grow your marriage, and invest in your marriage. But how often are you told to protect your marriage?
When we think about protection, a lot of times our minds default to us protecting another person. We think about protecting our spouse, taking a bullet for them, doing whatever we can to keep them from pain or danger. That’s definitely important. But it’s also important to remember that if you’re going to protect the bond of marriage, you’re going to have to protect yourself.
Paul describes the relationship between love and protection very clearly in his letter to the church of Corinth when he says, “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7). This means that for the entirety of your marriage, you are going to have to guard your heart and protect yourself from things that could cause damage to your relationship with your spouse.
In other words, you must be very intentional about keeping yourself out of tempting situations. Maybe that means setting some personal boundaries. Maybe it means finding an accountability partner. Maybe it even means distancing yourself from certain people. Whatever it is, I would encourage you to remove any potentially harmful thing, before it’s too late and you lose everything. Jesus talked along the same lines when He said, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:29).
So consider these questions: Is there something, or someone, threatening your marriage that you need to remove? Are there steps you need to take to start protecting your marriage? Whatever those steps might be, I would encourage you to begin taking them today. Your spouse will be glad you did. Your family will be glad you did. And trust me, you’ll be glad you did, too.