Love is a weird topic. Mainly because its so twisted in our society.
Our culture is obsessed with PASSION and LUST and yet we define those two <--- as love.
Young people get married because they "fell in love"
People separate because they "fell out of love"
The truth is, if you trust the Bible, and God as your standard for what love is,
"Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not SELF SEEKING. It Keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects. Always trusts. Always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Cor. 13
So the reality is.. you've most likely heard that at every wedding, ever.
You probably know that verse even if you've never opened a Bible.
But yet, that love, seems like a fairytale to many.
Our society tells us that LOVING someone, means that you are infatuated with them and you FEEL passion for them all the time. Sexually, physically, emotionally. Its a passion pursuit.
Not too long ago I was watching a "Chick flick" and I realized what the narrators of this movie were doing to me. They were trying to trick my mind into loving the "other man". The one who "actually loved" her. The one who was better looking. The one who had waited around for her.
Not the one she was married to, and had vowed her life to.
The passion... right? Their cute love story that has existed forever... its CLASSIC.
Hi friends, thats not love.
Emotional attachments to those who we should've severed relationship with before getting married to our now spouse, lingering throughout our marriage... is not LOVE.
Because love isn't self seeking.
Love is not something you can fall "in and out" of. It's not a feeling or an emotion, its a choice. Its a choice. Sure, you may have feelings that follow that love choice, but its not primarily a feeling, and then a choice. Its the opposite.
Look back at those verses with me.
LOVE IS PATIENT. Patience is an action that you choose to embrace a position towards a person when you want to RUN, or HIDE, or SMACK them.
LOVE IS KIND. Kindness requires us to act.
LOVE DOES NOT BOAST. Its not obsessed with itself.
LOVE IS NOT PROUD. Pride is the concern of yourself over another. So therefore, you aren't thinking about YOU.
LOVE IS NOT RUDE. Uhm, self explanatory.
LOVE KEEPS NO RECORDS OF WRONGS. ..... again, it has no record of all the wrong things that your SIG other has done ;)
LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL.
LOVE REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.
LOVE ALWAYS PROTECTS.
LOVE ALWAYS TRUSTS.
LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES....
There it is.
Love always perseveres.
What is perseverance?
Webster tells me that perseverance is this:
PERSEVERANCE: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Do you know that you cannot persevere in ANYTHING without faith?
Even if you don't believe in God... you don't even know how much it requires faith to go throughout your day. Its alarming and awe-some when you think about it.
You do not wonder every day you wake up if you are going to make it to the end of the day. It requires faith to believe that you will. Thats why you plan for your evening, your bed time, and the next day. You have faith that you will live.
You don't run a marathon wondering if you are going to make it to the end. It takes perseverance and training, and FAITH that you are going to make it. You don't finish something you never believe you could finish in the first place.
You don't sit in a chair and wonder if its going to hold you up. You just sit down, and TRUST that it will.
Perseverance takes faith.
It takes perseverance to LOVE in a marriage.
IT TAKES FAITH to believe you can finish this life in tact in your marriage & thriving.
NOBODY GETS MARRIED HOPING TO GET DIVORCED... you know that right?
Oh friends, This is the part that It gets awkward.
I LOVE YOU I PROMISE.
We live in a culture that IS OBSESSED WITH TELLING YOU THAT LOVE IS ABOUT YOU. That marriage is about YOUR fulfillment, and the minute that it stops.. to bounce. We live in a culture that is obsessed with fast food, fast emotional fulfillment, and the feeling of our bellies and lives full and comfortable.
The hard thing is, I know many of us know a lot more about marriage and love NOW that we are in the thick of it, than we did getting into it. Which is where the question pops up of... "I see that it was passion that got me here, and passion has run out. I am stuck, and I hate it... what do I do?"
Trust me friends, I know there is about a BILLION scenarios that you have been through that I could never solve or identify in one blog post, so please hear my heart.
HOWEVER, LOVE IS NOT ABOUT YOU.
MARRIAGE IS NOT ABOUT COMPLETING YOU.
If you believe in Jesus, you are a new creation. You are complete in him alone. Marriage? It's not a requirement, and its not necessary. Its awesome, and hard, and unique to each scenario. BUT it doesn't make you complete. THE ONLY person that can ever "Complete" you is Jesus.
I could never say my husband completes me, because does that mean my single friend over there, or single mom friend.. is not whole?
What has happened in our marriage since I stopped looking to Brandon to FULFILL me, to AFFIRM me, to MAKE me feel SECURE... but relied on Jesus instead, has been the most freeing thing in the world.
Technically If I actually believe I have everything I need in Jesus, I don't need Brandon.
He could leave me tomorrow, and that would SUCK and I WOULD HATE IT, but I would make it.
Because I don't need him.
I still want him
But if I am complete without him, and in Jesus, I HAVE to move from that space in my marriage.
Here is the best life lesson I have ever learned, in every single possible scenario.
Choice is what messed it all up in the beginning when Adam and Eve CHOSE to eat the fruit and disobey. (love you guys too)
CHOICE is what I did when I gave my life to Jesus
I CHOSE to marry Brandon.
I CHOSE to trust him
I CHOOSE to sacrifice for him.
For every single time I am out of whack, wanting to be served, wanting to be fulfilled, wanting to be secure in him instead of Jesus... I start to get anxious. I start to get upset, and needy. I start to get irritated at the smallest thing. I FORGET that I am complete in Christ alone, and that I can move from a place in WHOLE-NESS in life.
When you feel out of control. DONT LET IT TAKE OVER YOU.
Take a step back, and re-choose.
Remember that you have a choice.
Sure, you can choose to leave, and in some scenarios, we all know, its necessary.
But You can also choose to stay.
You can also choose to remain soft hearted and not bitter.
You can choose to forgive
You can choose to love even when he doesn't deserve it.
You can choose and choose, and re- choose again, over and over again until you die.
THATS what should be read at marriage ceremonies ^ hahaha.
And even more so... I CHOOSE to love him.
I get it. Things are messy. Life is hard. Its not a shoe in that you feel like your spouse even deserves respect and love right now.
But love isn't self seeking.
Im not saying love stays in an abusive relationship (side note)
But I am saying that love prefers the other above itself.
I don't know if you know this, but the enemy is your enemy.
Not your spouse.
Not your ex.
Not your boyfriend.
The enemy- SATAN and his gang.
They give their entire existence to making sure humanity doesn't see who they actually are created to be. Because if we do, this whole shebang is over, and they are done for.
Angels weren't created in the image of God, HUMANS were.
Satan wasn't created in the image of God, HUMANS were.
Jesus became one of us, was denied and rebuked, and disowned by us, to reconcile us back to who we actually are.
THAT IS LOVE.
HUMBLY serving in order to bring us back to who we actually are.
Thats not self seeking.
Do you have that in you?
That will to fight for this marriage?
Do you want it?
It starts with receiving it first.. the kind of love that is undeserving, and unexplainable. It starts with the restoring of YOU in that quiet space with the Lord. It starts with receiving love first. THEN you will be in a position to give it away without expecting anything in return.
Dear brothers and sisters,
let us LOVE one another.
Let us not be passionate towards one another, because passion will fade.
Let us be LOVING, sacrificing, edifying, encouraging, and preferring each other above ourselves.
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:14