Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Truth About Love and Marriage

I adore my husband. If you have followed this blog for long, are a facebook friend, or know me at all; you know that I LOVE my hubby. I love to tell him how much I love, appreciate, and just plain think he is the hottest thing around. Believe it or not, I try to keep my posting about all things fabulous about him to a minimum (nobody likes a boastful soul), but the truth is I think it is important for the world to know that I appreciate him. That I flat out adore him.
Because let's be honest, this world is not known for putting a high priority on marriage. I can't begin to tell you how much I despise ads, movies, songs, that celebrate putting down your spouse. Belittling them, abusing them, you name it. I remember feeling VERY uncomfortable early in our marriage when I was in a group of women who were each taking turns going on and on about how awful their husbands were and all the little things that they couldn't stand about them. How utterly heart breaking. Now I know we all joke around with our friends about our spouses. I get that, I do it too! But I am not talking about those things that you and your spouse know you do that make each other crazy and that you can joke about with your friends and family. I am talking about putting your spouse down in front of others. I know that there are plenty of times that both Max and I have said some unkind words to each other (most likely in front of some of you reading this right now). No marriage is perfect, we are all humans who sin. But the fact is, when I think about how my words must have made my spouse feel, it breaks my heart. And I think that is the way it should be. If we truly desire to love our spouses the way God created us to love in his image, it should break us to the core when we mistreat, talk badly about, or hurt our spouses in any way.
I truly think that a successful marriage is built on two people loving Christ and loving each other with that same sacrificial love. And the thing about sacrificial love, is that it isn't supposed to be easy. I won't lie to you. I heard so many times, that marriage is so hard and that love isn't easy. And I used to think people were a little crazy. Loving my man has always been second nature to me. The word "hard" just doesn't fit into any description of me loving him. I don't try, those feelings are just there and that is just the way it is. But let me tell you something else. Getting up with a toddler in the middle of the night when you feel like you don't have a single ounce of energy left, keeping your mouth shut when you are angry and feel like you deserve to get your point across, those things that go against everything you are feeling and thinking in the moment; that is when sacrificial love comes into play. It has NOTHING to do with feelings and NOTHING about that is easy.
Loving someone sacrificially means doing things for them (regardless of whether or not they deserve them) and doing it simply because you love them. NOT because you expect anything in return. That can be hard. Not matter how much you truly, deeply, and madly adore you spouse; you will get tired, you will know you were right, you will want things your way. And that is when you stop and CHOOSE love over feelings. That is the kind of love that stands out. Not because of feelings, but because of a choice.
So please know this, if you hear me go on and on about the man I love. If you see me posting about his awesomeness. If you see another picture of us being all in love, please know I am not bragging. I know that my actions speak volumes more than my words (and posts/pictures online) so I hope that my life backs up these things that I am typing. And I want very much to be sensitive to my single and divorced family and friends too. But I just think it is beyond important to be thankful. To appreciate and understand what an incredible gift a spouse is. I think it is time for those of us who respect and appreciate marriage to be brave enough to stand up for it, so that others have the courage to hope and believe in a loving and respectful marriage!

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