I remember those days like it was yesterday: a starry-eyed girl, still “wet behind the ears,” dreaming of romance, weddings, and babies. Now, I have the marriage, the babies, and yes, the romance too!
So many women my age have the marriages and the babies too. Romance? It’s something they still dream about and read about, hoping that some day their wishes might come true. For many, it will only ever be just that: a dream and a wish.
How many countless young women marry because they dream of that “forever after”? The odd thing is that the young man who once was so courteous to win their affections suddenly seems to forget the basic courtesies after a few years — especially after a few babies and a few more pounds thicken their wives’ waist-lines.
What happens to those same women who walked the aisle to marry their “forever afters” and heard their men utter those timeless vows of “in sickness and in health”? Those same men who looked at them with wonder in their eyes now coldly or hurriedly demand and expect of those same wives an unending service and performance of meeting the needs of the husbands.
How many women lie in bed at night after meeting their husbands’ needs, only to roll over with tears streaming down their faces and face a wall that somehow seems more friendly then the husband who once promised to cherish them?
Am I being too hard on the husbands? Oh, there are certainly women who have broken the hearts of their husbands, and I have known a few…
Love is so often viewed as, “What can I get from the relationship?” The truth is that isn’t love. It’s selfishness. True love is giving and giving and giving of yourself without thought of personal benefit as a result. It’s not based on the performance or worth of the recipient.
God demonstrated the absolute perfection of love. He gave His Son — His only Son, His perfect Son — to redeem and win back a people who had rebelled against Him and hated Him. These people had accepted the lies of His enemy Satan over Himself. These people had preferred the lies of the very one who hated them and desired their demise over the pure love of a God who desired to cleanse them and transform them into the people He had created them to be!
So few people even have a small glimpse of what this kind of love looks like in life. Thus, we often believe the lies, the counterfeits of “love” and think that we are loving someone or receiving love from someone when it is often the opposite: selfishness, bullying, control, guilt, condemnation, fear even…
True love and romance is often revealed after the credits roll, the lights dim, the pounds pack on, and the years toll. True love is powerfully displayed when the spouse no longer can roll out of bed on his or her own or even lift a glass to their mouth and when their mate selflessly and patiently wipes the drool that dribbles down the wrinkled chin. It’s being willing even to clean the bed-pans and tie the shoelaces of the spouse that no longer has the strength or control to do it themselves. It’s loving even when there isn’t anything for the recipient to offer in return except gratitude. Sometimes, it’s not even getting that because the recipient is mentally too taxed to even perform that small return.
True love is more than romance and attraction. It’s about seeing the soul beneath the surface.
How will you know if you are marrying the right person?
Look for characteristics of humility, kindness, patience, courtesy, meekness. These are the characteristics that will make a good husband and father. Als0, consider their general view of women.
Why are so many men and women in miserable marriages?
Many women marry because they are in love with the thought of marriage. They read romance novels and are in love with the idea of a thoughtful, handsome, romantic man “sweeping them off their feet.” So many young women/girls are more in love with the idea of love then actually marrying a guy for the right reasons. The thought of a gorgeous wedding, cute babies, a home of her own, and a husband who cherishes her is perhaps a very common reason why these girls marry. They meet a guy. He turns on the charm. He says the right words. Does the right things. The girl hears him proclaim his undying love and devotion. They get married. The wedding day is perfect! The honeymoon might also be amazing. And they live happily ever after, right? Wrong!
The true test of character and of understanding of what true love is comes as the days, weeks, months, and especially years pass. How do the husband and wife handle job changes, financial pressures, health concerns, in-law challenges, crying babies, toddlers with tantrums, messy houses, a fatigued spouse, the rebellious teen, discipline issues, and bodies that age?
True love becomes more of a decision than an emotion.
Love is an action verb.
When the lights dim and the credits roll, your marriage will only be as good as you give.
True love is more about the lover than the recipient. It’s more about your character — rather than the person you are loving. How well do you love?
Note: True love does not mean you ignore or tolerate abuse. This includes all forms of abuse: physical, emotional, and verbal. Ignoring serious problems in your marriage is not loving for it is enabling the abuser and not helping them to recognize their need to find healing.
Marriage is an incredible gift — when it is with the right person, in the right timing, and with the right “love” at its helm. Before you say “I do,” make sure you are in love with the right thing. Make sure it’s not an idea or dream. Make sure it will be a reality by knowing the character of the person you are marrying and by having the character to truly love.