> Christina and I have tried to build our marriage upon God and his word. We have appreciated all the passages in the Bible which speak directly to the married life.
> But we have also loved many other Scriptures which have helped our marriage. In this short four-part series, I will write about four of those Scriptures. In each, I will elaborate on the principle found there, along with how it has applied to our marriage. Our prayer is that every believing marriage would find grace and strength in the word of Christ.
> Read the entire series > here> .
”For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21 ESV)
When I was a boy, I loved to play with model trains. I remember learning about the engine, the car that pulled everyone else, but also the caboose, the car in the back at the end of the line. There were cars in the middle, but the engine was at the front, and the caboose was at the back, always.
In a passage touching on the subject of money, Jesus introduced a fascinating concept. He said humans' hearts follow their money (“treasure”). The engine is your treasure, while the caboose is your heart. This truth is interesting because it seems we’d like to think it’s the other way around, that we spend our time and treasure on whatever our heart is into, but this is not so. Wherever we spend our time and treasure, eventually our heart will follow.
Christina and I have used this truth to help us continually grow in our marriage. During the dating phase, there is a newness and excitement, but it must eventually give way to true love. An enemy of long-lasting love is familiarity. The heart begins to drift. But, according to Jesus, where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also, so we have tried to be disciplined about spending our time and treasure on one another, knowing our hearts will follow.
Here are some practical ways this truth works out in our marriage:
1 We date each other.
Before we had children, Christina and I began the practice of a date night each week. Since they are regularly scheduled, they aren't elaborate; sometimes we go out for Chipotle and a beach walk, other times coffee and a hike. Making this commitment of our time to one another has been great for our marriage. Once kids, church events, speaking engagements, ministry, friends and family, social functions, extracurricular activities for our children, and family-time came crashing into our schedule, our weekly date became all the more important. It gives us a protected time to be us. It communicates and lives out our belief there is no other human relationship more important than this one.
2 We talk to one another.
To open your heart and speak to your spouse, especially given the pressures mentioned above, is challenging. But Christina and I have tried to make time throughout the week to sit with one another, walk the dog together, go on a short hike together, or linger at the breakfast table together, all with the hope of connecting in conversation. So much happens in life, so it’s been essential for us to spend our time on one another, catching up and sharing about what’s going on inside us.
3 We pursue romance.
We have believed romance begets more, that one of the best ways to keep the spark alive is to throw fuel on the fire. When we treasure each other in this way, we find a deeper heart and love for one another than before. We believe that if we cherish each other romantically, our hearts will follow.
4 We spend time alone with each other.
Dates are one thing, but since she is my favorite person and she is mine, we try to steal as many moments together as we can. We have responsibilities to many people, and we are happy to spend our lives on others, but this makes it all the more important to grab little slices of time together. It might be a two-three night trip together, which we try to take each year, or it might be a long car ride where we tell the kids that mom and dad are going to spend some time talking without interruption.
5 We pursue the other.
Gifts, notes, the celebration of special occasions — all of these are opportunities to spend our treasure on each other. Christina is great at this. Every birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Father’s Day she will write me a short note filled with appreciation and love. She will even make me my own Easter basket and put a card in there urging me to get out there and preach Christ on that special day. Taking the time for these gestures is a way for her to spend the treasure of her time and money on me. Her heart then follows.
Remember, the heart is the caboose. If you’re married, spend your treasure on your spouse. Soon, you’ll find Jesus spoke the truth, and your heart has followed.