I love, love!! Don’t you love, love? Except…I love, LOVE when it’s easy.
I love, love when it’s clean-cut, heart-eye emojis, unexpected hugs, and date night. I love, LOVE when it’s Valentine’s Day.
Well…last year on Valentine’s Day Eve, our first one as a married couple, I found myself in the middle of an argument with my husband. At this point, I honestly can’t remember what it was about, but I remember the way I felt. I was LIVID. And to think, this man expected me to go somewhere with him the next day!?
I knew, before getting married, that marriage required work. However, I figured the work would be closer to cleaning the house, cooking, figuring out finances, and praying together. I mean, I wasn’t naive, I expected to have arguments, but ones where we quickly resolved the issue and made our marriage stronger, you know, the “rough patches.” Besides, as long as we loved each other, we could make it past anything…
I won’t insult you and waste precious character space by telling you that love is action. I get it, you get it, we all know. However, prior to marriage I had a pretty set view of what love looked like, and it was all based on how I wanted to feel and not what would refine me. I based it off how I wanted to give love, and not how it needed to be given. My idea of love really centered around me. As I’ve grown in my marriage, I have had to restructure my thinking about what love really is, and the various, unexpected, ways it is displayed in my marriage. Humor me by allowing me to illustrate my point using 1 Corinthians 13:
1 Corinthian 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Patiently sitting on the couch playing a video game because I’m still getting ready and we’re late (as always)
Kindly relaying that maybe he could have said that in a better way, listening to his response, and respectfully coming to an understanding or agreement
- Not Envying that couple that seems to have it all together, and posts every doggone day about how happy they are, meanwhile, we’ve hardly spent time together this week
- Not Boasting when we kind of do have it together this month, but instead cherishing the time and praying to God that it lasts.
- It is not puffed up, because having a ring on my finger makes me no better than anyone else, and by acting like it does, I diminish the witness marriage has.
- It does not dishonor my husband by the way I spend our money
- It is not self-seeking because I desire to please him as much or more than I desire to gain pleasure. (Come on somebody!)
- It is not easily angered when one has to repeat themselves…several times
- It keeps no record of wrongs, period.
- Love does not delight in [winning the argument] but rejoices with the truth because being right matters less than finding a solution and being on one accord.
- It always protects his reputation
- Always trusts that we have the other’s best interest at heart, even in correction.
- Always hopes that things will get better, even when they haven’t changed
- Always perseveres, even when you’re tired of trying, tired of apologizing, tired of hearing apologies, tired of failing, tired of the same boring routine, tired of waiting, tired of being tired…it keeps persevering.
Last Valentine’s Day, we went on our planned date to the Coca-Cola factory. In the beginning we were pretty quiet as the remnants of the night before lingered over us. As the date went on, we continued to warm up to each other and tried to have a good time. By the end of the tour we were back to normal and had a wonderful time thereafter. On that day, love meant being present even when I didn’t feel like it, even though I still felt some hurt. Love caused me to push past my feelings, dig deep, and find a way to still enjoy time with the man to whom I pledged my heart.
Love doesn’t always come in pretty packages, it doesn’t always feel good, and it certainly isn’t always Facebook worthy. However, if it sanctifies you and strengthens your character, it is Love in its highest form.