Love is powerful and strong..but is the power of love strong enough to save your marriage? It depends how you — and your husband — harness that power to renew your love for one another.
The power of love is a learned skill, not something that comes from your feelings, hormones or even your yearning for a better marriage. Some psychologists call love an “act of willpower.” Not very romantic, but if you don’t deliberately learn and practice the skills of love, you can’t save your marriage.
Whether your marriage needs a complete makeover, a touch up, or just a new purpose, reading books like A Lifelong Love: How to Have Lasting Intimacy, Friendship, and Purpose in Your Marriage can help. The key is for you and your husband to read the books together — because the power of love isn’t enough to save your marriage if it’s just you doing all the work! Both husband and wife need to work toward seeing each other differently and communicate with more depth and meaning. The power of love can save your marriage if you’re both harnessing it properly.
How to Know If Your Marriage is Over has been one of my most popular articles since the day I wrote it. The good news is that none of those “signs” means anything if you’re willing to harness the power of love to save your marriage. Love can overcome the relationship problems that might lead to separation or divorce.
The bad news is that even though the power of love is potentially strong enough to save your marriage, you (or your husband) might not be willing or able to take the leaps of faith required to do the work. In other words you might have the ability to harness the power of love, but you may lack the desire or willingness to work together as a couple.
Harnessing the Power of Love to Save Your Marriage
Every married couple is different. Thus, there are no “one size fits all” tips for saving your marriage or even harnessing the power of love. These ideas may or may not work for you and your husband, but they’re worth considering.
Define what “the power of love” means to you
When I think of love, I think of God. His powerful love, compassion, peace, joy, and grace is available all the time – no matter what mistakes or bad choices you made. God’s love is always there for you, a river of love and life that you can dip into anytime you want. Yet, God is mysterious and unknowable! I believe the power of love can save your marriage if you can tap into God’s eternal, abundant, rich love. Human love is weak and unstable. God’s love is ever-present and powerful enough to save even the most difficult of marriages.
What does the power of love mean to you? Where would you find this power, and how might you harness it to save your marriage? These are difficult but important questions — and they do have the power it takes to save your marriage. Take time to explore your immediate thoughts and reactions to those questions. Knowing what you think about the power of love will help you move forward. Just as important, ask your husband what he thinks of the idea of harnessing the power of love to save your marriage. This is an important first step toward growing closer as a married couple.
Learn the power of love languages
If you’re not into God’s love, read The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. Learning the five love languages will help you and your husband literally harness the power of love by giving you practical actions. This book’s chapters are categorized by love language for easy reference; each chapter ends with specific, simple steps to express a specific language to your husband. You’ll save your marriage by moving in the right direction together. Bonus: a newly designed “love languages assessment” will help you understand and strengthen your relationship.
Or, you might just read Examples of Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. There, you’ll find more solid and specific definitions of how love affects your relationship. Love isn’t just a feeling, and it’s not just sexual intimacy. Love might be making lasagne for your husband, or gracefully stepping back so he can pursue his hobbies.
You can learn how to harness the power of love, but actually putting the information to work and saving your marriage depends on you and your husband. Chapman’s love languages are effective in strengthening mostly healthy marriages, but aren’t deep or rich enough to fix abusive relationships or deal with personal problems such as addictions or mental health issues.
Change how you see your marriage
Love isn’t about your feelings. Love is action. You can say “I love you” to your husband all day long — and he can repeat the words back to you. Is this powerful love? Not really. If your words aren’t accompanied by actions (eg, committing to learning how to harness the power of love, talking about ways to save your marriage, taking time away from your responsibilities to simply be together, or being honest with your husband about your fears and concerns), then your love isn’t powerful.
This is why learning about and actually experiencing the power of God’s love is crucial! There is nothing stronger than the love of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Experiencing the Father’s presence through Jesus and the Holy Spirit is an endless source of love. God is how you harness the power of love to save your marriage — you can’t do it alone. The beauty of experiencing God’s powerful love is that even if you don’t or can’t save your marriage, you can still be filled with the peace, joy, freedom, grace and love that surpasses all understanding.
My experience with the power of God’s love
Here’s the question that changed my life and my relationship with my husband: “How does God see you? Take 10 minutes, and write down His perspective of you.”
I believe God sees me as a bouncy little girl with unruly dark curls, hair ribbons, and a pretty dress. In His eyes, I am sweet, innocent, vulnerable, joyful, curious, and o so excited about the possibilities of life! This image – and the accompanying powerful feeling of love I experience when I consider how God sees me – changes who I am. I’m less likely to be impatient, angry, or condescending to my husband. I judge less, accept more. I surrender to God’s will for our marriage and our life together.
How do you think God sees you? Take 10 minutes, and write down His perspective of you. You may or may not experience God’s love. In fact, you may first have to learn how to love God even when He let you down.
Remember these tips for harnessing the power of love
You may not like the idea of experiencing God’s love as a way to save your marriage. So, I brainstormed a few practical, non-spiritual things to remember about harnessing the power of love. Power comes in all sizes and shapes – and can even be enjoyed in bite-sized tips!
6 things to remember about saving your marriage:
- Love isn’t just a feeling. Love is the basis of powerful acts of grace, compassion, kindness and forgiveness. Love has the power to change your perspective and help you act in specific ways every day.
- The power of love can help you become more considerate and thoughtful in your daily actions and words.
- Love can show you how your own pride, selfishness and self-centeredness affects your words and actions.
- Harnessing the power of love can help you let go of your self-centeredness and pride, which can save your marriage.
- Learning love languages can help you see and treat your husband with more compassion, kindness and respect.
- Reaching for and surrendering to God’s love will give you the strength, faith and hope you need to keep trying to save your marriage.
If you and your husband can’t afford marriage counseling or even a visit to your pastor, read How to Save Your Marriage Without Counseling.
Know that the power of love can save not just your marriage but you
I have to go back to God’s love, because He is the only power that can save your marriage. God’s love changes you by showing you how valuable, cherished, precious, unique, and loved you are. God’s love also shows you how unworthy and weak you are. Through Jesus, you see how deeply and dearly you are loved…and how desperately and deeply you need Him to save you.
Human love isn’t powerful enough to save any relationship or person. You aren’t strong enough to harness the power of love and save your marriage…and neither is your husband. Even together, you are weak, vulnerable, and prone to disappointing one another. This isn’t because you’re bad…it’s because you’re human.
May you experience the power of God’s amazing grace and love. May you learn how to harness God’s love, renew your commitment to your husband, and save your marriage. May you see and love yourself and your husband the way God sees and loves you both. May you experience the depth and width of Jesus’ sacrifice for you; may you surrender to the wisdom and joy of the Holy Spirit.
I welcome your thoughts — big or little, in agreement or not — below. You might just share your story. Writing is a great way to find clarity and insight, and help you work through your thoughts and emotions.
PS If your heart is broken because your husband cheated on you, read Healing From an Affair in a Christian Marriage.