They do not love who do not show their love.
I did not marry for love. Oh, I wanted to be loved, needed to be loved. But, I had long lost any hope of ever finding real love. I didn’t understand love. I didn’t really know how to love.
My love was selfishly demanding. I took much and gave little. It was not love. The sad thing is, as I look around at the marriage relationships of our worldly culture, I see it is their definition of love. Couples are divorcing at alarming rates because “he/she doesn’t make me happy.” “I don’t love him/her anymore.” “we just couldn’t work it out.” These are all reasons with a heart filled with selfishness.
If my love was based on selfishness then how has my marriage lasted 28 years? If I did not start out loving my husband, do I love him now? These are questions I am often asked of those who know my story, our story.
The answer is simple and yet complex. We were friends. He loved the woman he saw in front of him and believed in the woman he knew I could be. In the beginning it was hard, but he just kept showing me love. He spoke of love and showed loved. His love was mostly unselfish and undemanding. His love was not perfect, but it was kind, grace-filled and and often put my interest above it’s own. My darling husband modeled real love, Christ-like love, before me.
For my part, God began to work in my heart. Through my husband, godly women and His word I began to see that marriage was a commitment. Divorce was not an option. I could choose to love my husband with a love that was real and based on God’s word.
So I began to pray. I prayed that God would show me how to love. That He would give me the right kind of love for my husband. I prayed that God would grow and develop a love that was Christ-like toward my husband.
That was our first year of marriage. Since that year God has continually answered that prayer of my heart. It’s taken almost a lifetime to see what I see today. Love is a choice we make everyday. I will never be able to love my husband, or anyone, with the right kind of love apart from Christ.
I had made a commitment to God to follow His commandments. To live a life of denying self and following Him. As I grew in my relationship and understanding of God I grew to see that out of obedience to God I must choose to love my husband.
In the beginning it was a choice that I made out of obedience to God and because I had made a commitment before God. Today I don’t have to make that choice any longer for there is a deep, ever growing love for my husband, my friend and my covenant partner. God has and continues to answer my prayer of that first year. God has led me on a journey of not only learning to love my husband but learning to love my Father in heaven!
Would love have you share with me how you have learned to love!!
Continuing on Monday, Jan 2nd I will share what I have learned of love in the marriage relationship. We will also see what Christ says about love and marriage as I reflect upon verses from 1 John, Romans, Galatians, and others.