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When I was sixteen years old, I gave my heart to my wife and she’s held it close ever since. The years haven’t always been easy (I am, after all, a recovering idiot), but I’d still choose her, and she’d still choose me. I am a blessed man indeed!
But maintaining love takes work.
Here are four things I’ve learned along the way:
It ain’t always easy. Romance is but a recurring season (it comes and goes), and sometimes we’re not even sure we like each other let alone love each other. You’d think after several decades together my wife and I wouldn’t say stupid stuff or do hurtful things to each other. We do. You’d think by now we’d be communication experts. We’re not. You’d think we’d figure out how to live selflessly. We haven’t. Love ain’t easy. Never has been. Probably never will be.
It will cost you to truly love. Anything and everything of value costs us time, energy, and money. To love your spouse means sometimes you will sacrifice your agenda and schedule to satisfy theirs. It means sometimes you will serve them even when you’re dead-dog tired. It means sometimes you will invest your hard-earned cash to bless them rather than spend it (or waste it) on what you want. Sacrifice. Service. Investment. Yup…love will cost you.
It takes a sticky attitude to survive. When it’s more convenient to bail out rather than work it out, you’ll take the path of least resistance unless you’re committed to sticking it out over the long haul. Stick-to-it-tiveness is missing in many marriages today. However, love that is sticky is love that will last.
It’s always worth it. I can’t promise you a pony or a prize for hanging in there, but I can promise you joy. Joy is the result of spending your life with someone who is broken (like you) and weathering the storms with faith in a God who is bigger and better than your spouse. And joy comes when you can look forward and know in your heart, “Whatever comes and whatever we face, we will face it together by God’s grace.”
Don’t expect love to always be fun and romantic. Remember that true love takes hard work and a humble heart. And true love is what matters most.
May I pray for you?
God, your love for us cost you immeasurably. We broke your heart, yet you gave us your son. Help us to be people who will work hard for what matters. And nothing matters more than love. Amen.
“So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel.
But it only seemed like a few days, he loved her so much”
Genesis 29:20 MSG.
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