“Love”…It’s what every little girl dreams of. It’s a fairy tale wedding with Prince Charming and Happily ever after. You probably met by bumping into each other on a rainy day and it was love at first sight. You have a cute house, a warm fireplace and walks in the park. This is really where we all start to laugh out loud!
I am possibly the worst person to give any thoughts to this subject, because I have failed miserably at relationships. Not one, but two failed marriages. It’s not that I didn’t value marriage, but looking back I can see that I did not give my whole heart. I didn’t open my soul to them; bearing my inner most self. I now realize that I simply could not (but that’s a different story). But fortunately, I have eventually learned what love is and what it is not. I learned this when I made decisions that went against my faith and realized that my awesome God did not throw me away, but loved me in spite of my choices. I learned this when my child made decisions that broke my heart into a million pieces, but my love for him not only stayed steady, but increased as I watched him hurt. And I learned this through my sweet precious husband as he has stood by my side (strong and steady) through hell and “almost” back. When I watched him sacrifice for my protection. When he held me silently as I cried; never asking for anything in return. There have been many days that I had nothing left to give. My hurt and worry completely consumed me. But his love never changed.
What love is not: Love is not a feeling
If we allow our feelings to determine our love, our relationship (this can be any relationship) will be like a ship in the wind, blowing here and there. You can’t build a solid relationship on emotions. It’s not “if” emotions change, it’s when. You are not the same person today that you were five years ago and you are not the same person that you will be five years from now. Our feelings are fickle and can change with every situation. Your feelings will lie to you.
What love is: Love is a choice
Event the best of relationships will have moments that are not warm and fuzzy. Real relationships have bills, stresses of work, dinner to cook and errands to run. But in the mist of our the daily grind, we have to stop and remember why we fist loved that person. We have to find ways to stay connected and not let the small things become bigger than necessary. We are fortunate that God gives us His love as a model. God’s way tells us that love is unconditional. It loves regardless of circumstances, feelings or actions. It is a daily choice; not based on what the other person has done, but based on our choice of giving love. The most beautiful thing that I have learned is that love is the greatest when the other person is the most unlovable. And we need to be loved the most when we are the least lovable.
II Chorinthians 13: 4-7 – Love is patient and kind. It is not jealous or boastful. It is not proud or rude. It does not demand it’s own way. It is not irritable and it keeps no records of wrongs. Love always protects. It always trust. It always hopes. Love never gives up!
When you choose to love, it is not easy. It will take time, sacrifice and commitment.
You have to spend time together to know one another. We all have busy lives. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day responsibilities and think that “tomorrow” you will spend time with your loved one. You will change as the years pass and if you do not continue to share your inner most self, your desires, your hurts, your hopes and your dreams, you will wake up one day and not even know the other person.
Take time to listen and take time to have fun. Relationships should be fun. Laugh at silly things, eat ice cream, walk on the beach and dance in the rain.
Love takes sacrifice. You will often sacrifice what you want at that moment, for what you want for a lifetime. Love does not demand its own way. This doesn’t mean that you are a doormat. It implies that when making decisions, you think of the other person. How they will feel and how they will be affected. Respect them with your words and with your actions.
Love is a commitment. This is where I have miserably failed along with many others. It’s a covenant, not a contract. Contracts have clauses and addendum and they always have a way out. A covenant is bound by something stronger. It is bound by integrity. It is a decision to stay regardless of how things may change. Before you commit, take a look around. It will not be a fairy tale. But it will be worth it. You can always look and think the grass looks greener on the other side, but before you cross to that grass, find out how much the water bill will be.
This type of love takes courage. Because it’s the kind that will allow you to get hurt. It make you vulnerable to another person. But I believe that this is the kind of love that God intended for us to have. This love will make you stronger together.
I hope that you choose to love everyday. Love with your whole heart. With reckless abandonment. Love like you’ve never been hurt.