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)
When 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, strengthen your marriage, and invest in your marriage. How often are you told to protect your marriage?
When we think about protection, many times our minds default to our protecting another person. We think about protecting our spouse, taking a bullet for them, and doing whatever we can to keep them from pain or danger. That is definitely important. It is also important to remember that if you are protecting the bond of marriage, you will 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) For the entirety of your marriage, you will have to guard your heart and protect yourself from things that could damage your relationship with your spouse.
In other words, you must be very intentional about keeping yourself out of tempting situations. That might mean setting some personal boundaries or “hedges” around your marriage. It could mean finding an accountability partner. You might have to distance yourself from certain people. Whatever it is, I encourage you to remove any potentially harmful thing before it’s too late and you lose everything. Jesus spoke 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)
Please consider these questions: Is there something, or someone, threatening your marriage that you need to remove? Are there steps you should take to start protecting your marriage? Whatever those steps might be, I encourage you to begin taking them today. Your spouse and family will be glad you did. And trust me, you will be glad you chose to protect your marriage.