Collaborate without boundaries

Love is a Choice--Day 22

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Love is a choice and not a feeling.  I think that's been the motto of our marriage for the last couple months.  The funny thing is that I have heard this phrase over and over again growing up.  It was a constant theme of a lot of church talks about marriage and relationships.  My husband didn't have the same experiences in his life.  After he left home, he didn't attend church anymore.  He hadn't been a believer when he attended as a teenager, and he didn't feel the need to continue out of some idea of what others would think of him.  I don't think that his church ever had a sermon on love being a choice.

So I'm not sure where along the path of life, my husband learned this lesson or made this decision, but he did.  Perhaps it was after he got divorced the first time, or maybe it was just something he decided at some point along his path.  Either way, it's made all the difference in the last couple months.  Every marriage goes through rough patches.  Every marriage is going to face a trial at some point or another.  Then the question becomes what you let it do to you.  I've seen couples who embrace those trials together that come out stronger on the other side, and I've seen couples who let those trials tear them apart.  

I have to admit that I have not been sure which couple we would be over the last few months.  This trial we are facing right now is like nothing we've ever faced before.  I think we're seeing it as a spiritual attack instead of just a run of the mill trial.  I know my husband has come to view it that way recently.  The thing that has given me hope through all this time has been my husband's unwavering commitment to love being a choice and to affirming that he has made the choice to love me even when he doesn't feel it, even when he doesn't like me much, and even when it becomes an incredible chore to do so.  That commitment has been extremely freeing.

You can do a lot of things to rekindle a fire that's gone out and to recapture those love feelings.  There's not much you can do if the foundational choice love is lacking.  It's a lot harder to fix that issue in a marriage than the fix the drudgery that sometimes zaps your feelings of love for your spouse.  I know the turning point for me...the point that gave me hope when I wrote my first day's dare entry--was my husband's repeated words that "he loved me to the moon and back, yesterday, today, forever, and all that even if he didn't feel in love with me anymore."  Now we've worked hard on the in love part.  I've done the love dare and tried hard to meet my husband's needs and to meet my own needs by relying on Christ to get me through some of the things I was struggling with...and on his end, my husband has made some changes of his own.  As he doesn't usually talk about stuff like that, I have no real idea of what those might be or what his time has looked like.  I can only see the result, and that result has been that we are still working hard to cling to each other and to not allow anyone else to drive a wedge into our marriage.

 

  • As things get better, do not let up in prayer.  Often evil strikes hard as it sees a marriage improve.  

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