A few years ago I wrote a blog about my husband and the love encapsulated within in our marriage. I shared a very real and honest testimony of how marriage has been difficult for us and I can bet we aren’t alone. Life is difficult and when you have two imperfect humans brought together you double the mess and the hardships. It’s much easier to tackle the stressors of life with a teammate but it doesn’t divide the heartache that will come because there are two of you. It’s heartbreaking to see so many broken marriages, or marriages and relationships today that lack love and commitment. I’m not talking about that warm fuzzy feeling so many people call love because after a while the butterflies in your tummy that you had when you first met him or her will run out.
I love my husband but there are moments where I don’t like him so much, and vice versa. The idea of commitment I’m talking about is the decision to love the other person in a sacrificial selfless way. Love is a daily decision we make to remove the selfishness and love another more than our own plans, desires, or agenda. I always love the idea that “love is a decision and not just a feeling.” This is so true and one of the hardest things in life a lot of us I learn I think because there are moments when I don’t feel all warm and fuzzy inside in my marriage and I know my husband Scott would say the same thing. There have been moments where I wanted to scream and I have driven him to the edge many times also. It’s not just about this giddy romance that keeps us together it’s a daily decision that we made a commitment to God and each other that regardless of how tough life would get we would make the choice to tough it out together. Now that doesn’t mean every day is difficult and a struggle to just stay in my marriage without any of the good, warm fuzzy stuff because I love my husband but we have had our seasons as most couples. There are moments where I am madly in love and other times where life is difficult and its a battle.
I think most people have this idea in their heads about what a relationship entails whether it be a romantic relationship, a friendship, a work relationship, or a spiritual commitment and there is this idea that because there is a bond between the two then things will just magically fall into place and the fairytale will write a story that’s “happily ever after.” What people don’t realize though that yes this bond brought you together but there has to be a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears to keep the relationship going. One of the greatest acts of love we can ever experience in the love affair with our heavenly father. Nothing could be a bigger example in this entire world then the ultimate sacrifice Jesus paid for us because He loves us. Jesus knew the pain and torture that was going to take place but even though it brought discomfort and burden to Him, He ultimately chose to be selfless to show us how much He loves us. The sacrifice and choice I’m talking about isn’t just in marriages but is the foundation for any a relationship you have. Whether it be with a parent, a sibling, a aunt, uncle, friend, coworker, pastor, whatever the situation there is still this desperate need for sacrifice to show genuine care and concern for the other person. Sometimes its hard because we may have the best intentions but we have to realize it takes putting others first, above ourselves and saying regardless of how much they hurt me and how difficult it can be at times I will choose to love this person, not because I always like and agree with them but because I am acting as Christ would want me to act and putting aside my selfishness for the survival of our relationship.
Over the past few years I have had major health struggles and have been in the hospital for weeks and weeks at times and my husband has had to endure a lot because of it. I know there are marriages that wouldn’t have lasted dealing with the things we have, and I know there are a lot of guys who would have left a long time ago but my husband has continually showed me what love is about and how unconditional it is. Despite my illness and the burden that has been on him he still chooses to get up every day and love me and endure the pain with me. I think it’s easy when the going gets tough to give up and throw in the towel but love is about sticking it out and fighting for that person because you are desperate to have them apart of your life. When someone hurts you, disappoints you, persecutes you, it’s in that moment where you have the opportunity to make the choice to love them . They may not deserve it but you are going to act in the way as Christ did by displaying His love for us on the cross even when we didn’t deserve it. Colossians 3:13 “Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].”Love is done in a way that doesn’t expect anything in return but is about a sacrifice and saying…regardless of what happens I will choose to act in a way that is pleasing to God. I will choose to put others before me. Love isn’t about the feeling you get, but the ability you have to offer yourself to someone, emotionally and sacrificially to serve and love them as Jesus would. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (The message) Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first, Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,Doesn't revel when others grovel,Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trust God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back,But keeps going to the end