Love is the center of everything in our society. But our society's view on love versus the Christian's view on love are VERY different. I guess I've started reflecting upon this because my husband and I are very quickly approaching our 6th anniversary. We love each other. We love each other more now than we did the day we were married, but the love we have for each other is NOT the "mushy heart's all aflutter" kind. The love we have for each other is very deep, it has substance. So, here are my thoughts and beliefs on what love actually is...and is not.
Some believe that love is the aforementioned feelings. If you don't have the butterflies, or feel the sheer euphoria then you must not be in love and so why stay married? Right? Why stay together as boy/girl friend? What IS love?
What is love?
Love is a choice. Pure and simple. I have days where I truly can not stand my husband. I look forward to him leaving for work and taking his sour mood and ill temper with him...and being in bed by the time he returns. But I still LOVE him. (PS, Baby, these days are few and far between...just so you know). Most days I hate to see him go because he IS my best friend, we have such awesome conversations, and are quickly arriving at the same page in regards to parenting and our goals/desires/dreams/prayers for our family. I miss him while he's gone. But, even on the days when I wish I could send him off without the pomp and circumstance, shoo his back side off to the car to go in to work early, I still make the CHOICE to LOVE my husband.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a says, "Love is patient, love is kind, and it is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant. Does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account the wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
No where does God say that Love is a warm, gooey, mushy feeling and that lovers will never fight or get frustrated with each other.
Love IS patient and kind. Husbands and wives must learn to be patient with one another. The loss of patience leads to fights, misunderstandings and hurt feelings. If you CHOOSE to love your husband (or wife) you choose to try to be patient with one another, to learn to understand his/her perspective, and to try and see the other's point of view as you work through your issues. It does NOT say that when you love someone you put your own desires first, or that you love them as long as it feels good or is convenient.
My husband and I have our own issues that we have to work through, and they change from week to week, month to month, and year to year. This is normal. But we CHOOSE to work through our problems. I will admit that I believe that lately I've become, in some areas, rather selfish. I am not feeling well and I crave his help and attention because to ME it tells me that he loves me. If I am thirsty and ask for a glass of ice water. It's mundane and irritating to him, but when he brings me the glass of ice water (when I'm lying in bed w/ our son trying to get him to sleep, or simply exhausted) then to ME that says, "Darling, I hate doing this, it's a pain, you have two good legs, but I love you and know you are tired right now so I will bring this for you anyway."
This brings me to my next point. Lovers don't' speak the same love language. Everyone expresses love in different ways. For me, it's acts of service. I will do ANYTHING for those I love and go to any length for those I care about to help them. When I see it reciprocated to me, this tells me that I am loved and cared about. My husband does happen to have the same love language, but we speak different dialects. To me, him picking up a room that is cluttered with the children's toys without being prompted, or simply without complaining when I DO ask for help, tells me that he loves me. For my husband, doing things for his family and reaching out to them tells him that I love him. This is NOT an action that comes naturally to me, and I struggle with it. But I try because this tells my husband that I love him and I will do what I need to so that HE understands this in his own language.
Anyway, that's about it for my current musings on this very important topic. I love my husband, I always have and I always will. I CHOOSE to love him every day.