Choosing to Love
Walking down the aisle to a man she barely knew, Sona wondered if she would ever know what true love felt like. At only 18 years old, it seemed like she was being forced into a marriage she knew would only bring pain and disappointment.
Loveless marriages aren’t uncommon in Jordan, which are normally arranged by the bride’s father. Women agree to these marriages out of duty and respect but are often left feeling regretful and wondering how real, emotional love feels. As she entered into her marriage, Sona feared she would be seen as nothing more than an object by her husband.
Sona struggled through the first few years of her marriage, trying to find satisfaction in her children, but nothing seemed to fill the hole in her heart. Finally, a friend shared the love of the Gospel with her, and she got a taste of the acceptance she had been searching for.
As she made the decision to become a Christian, Sona was hopeful, but still doubted that her life could really be changed by a simple belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection. The chaos in her life just seemed to be too much for anyone – even God – to overcome.
Even after putting her trust in Jesus, Sona still had to deal with her unfulfilled marriage. With no visible change in her circumstances, she quickly began losing hope and began doubting God’s goodness. The life-giving feeling she had at conversion was quickly slipping away.
“I gave my life to Jesus and I want him to guide my life, but sometimes I find it difficult,” Sona told Mary, her Online Missionary, in her first message to Global Media Outreach. “I am married to an unbeliever and have two kids and am not happy… I don’t find love with him… I am sleeping beside him like a brother. What can I do? I pray always to Jesus and cry to him for this problem and am waiting for a solution… Can you pray for me? Can you help me?”
Mary was there to share the truth of Scripture with her new friend. She made sure to explain that although there may be a biblical basis for separation due to an unbelieving spouse, God had a plan for Sona’s marriage and that He brought her and her husband together for a reason, even if she couldn’t see or feel it currently.
“I just don’t want you to get caught in the lie that Satan tells you about love and happiness,” Mary said. “You can choose to love your husband and to honor him and God by keeping your marriage covenant. It doesn’t matter why you married your husband. What matters is that you did marry him and now if you want to be truly happy you need to let God show you how to be a godly wife and mother.”
Thanks to the working of the Holy Spirit, Sona was immediately impacted by her mentor’s words.
“Jesus made a miracle in my life! I asked Jesus to help me to love my husband, to make a better life for my family, so I am happy and I thank Jesus for that,” Sona said. “The Holy Spirit, which Jesus gives for free, gives me patience, love, advice, good thoughts and makes me a good mother and good woman. I feel that everyone around me loves me, not like before. My life is getting better with Jesus, and he is the only one who can remove our pain and give us peace.”
Though God does not guarantee us happiness when we become believers, he gives us the power and ability to focus on His goodness and grace in times of struggle, and this often leads to much higher levels of joy and contentment.
This is evident in Sona’s story. She is now focused on loving her husband, cultivating a Christian atmosphere in her home and living all her days through the power of the Holy Spirit.
To help people like Sona learn how to love as God loves, even in difficult situations, give your best gift today.