by Rob Furlong
I can honestly say that I have never watched a single episode of Married at First Sight or The Farmer Wants a Wife and I do not intend to – the advertisements are enough!
What strikes me is that the people appearing on these shows are not so much looking for someone to love as they are for the feeling of being in love.
The comments often focus on "the wonderful feeling of being in love" or "being that special someone".
At least, that is what I see on the ads!
It seems to me that our obsession with these programs stems from a profound unhappiness with our own life – that somehow it is boring and mundane; that it needs a little "spicing up!"
Perhaps we even feel a bit like that in our marriage.
But life consists of many things, including the exciting and the mundane. Listen to the words of King Solomon:
"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven..."
In other words, there is a set time for everything that happens to us during our lives as well as there being a specific period of time for each of them.
Solomon describes many of these events in the words that follow: times for birth and death, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing, loving and hating, war and peace.
None of these events, or others, always occur all the time – they each are given a set time.
And none of them lasts forever – they have a period of duration that can sometimes be long or short, depending on the circumstances.
Sometimes life is vibrant and exciting but sometimes it can be plain boring! Can you relate to that? I most certainly can! This is the ebb and flow of life and it is grounded in reality.
I am writing this way because so many people manage their relationships as if they were living in a TV program or soap opera.
We all love the romantic movie where the knight rides off into the sunset with his princess and they live happily ever after. We conclude that this is how marriage is...but is it?
In our own marriages we discover that there are times of happiness but also conflict and in extreme cases, it seems to be only conflict.
What happened to the romantic ending?
For one thing, we don't have the privilege of seeing how things worked out for the knight and the princess, but I'm certain they will have had their tense moments as well.
We have been duped into thinking that happiness in marriage is merely about finding this wonderful person or having "the feeling of being in love" and then everything will automatically flow from there – we have been "Hollywood-ised" about love and marriage!
Every marriage, even the best ones, have their times and seasons: times of laughter and passion and yes, times of conflict and boredom.
The solution is to try and make sense of these times.
This is why Solomon also said, "God has made everything beautiful in its time..." It is God who brings meaning to every moment of our lives. We can only ultimately be completely fulfilled in Him, not through some soap opera or unrealistic view about love and relationships.
And He is also able to bring meaning and fulfillment to our marriages.
A growing marriage begins its life when two people say "I do" to each other and to God. Then they are truly free to grow into unselfish people who find meaning in the times and seasons of their relationship with each other and with God.•