I am usually a private person when it comes to certain things. However, I have been feeling impressed to share some thoughts. I have found that it is good to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
The 21st anniversary of our family occurred this past week. In 21 years our family has grown from two people to nine people. We have lived in nine different homes in four different cities. We have had several heated disagreements over the years and we have had many wonderful times of great joy. The best piece of advice we got as we were preparing for marriage was this:
"Love one another. Love is a Verb." Love is not just some feeling of endearment or affability that you feel for a particular person. Love is work. Love is choice. When Jesus commanded us to love one another, He was not commanding us to be infatuated with one another. Love, in this context, was an action verb. Love is this context means to serve and help one another, to be kind and respectful to one another, to keep hanging on and being loyal and true to one another. The Commandment to love one another is vital in the marital relationship. There will be days when you honestly do not like the person that you are married to and you may wonder how you could have made such a terrible choice as to bind yourself to them. It is on those days and in those moments when things are hard that it is most important to remember what True Love is. True Love is service, helping, kindness, respect, loyalty, and fidelity to your partner. True Love sometimes requires sacrifice and often requires humility. True Love is hard work at times. Fortunately, True Love is usually rewarding work--though the rewards may take days, weeks, or even months to show themselves.
Jeremy and I have had ups and downs in our marriage. There have been days when we have both been ready to call it quits. And on those days we remember the advice we were given: Love one another. Love is a Verb."
Sometimes we've had to walk around the block a few times to calm down. Sometimes we've had to sit ourselves down in timeout. Sometimes we just had to ignore each other for a couple of days. But we always come back. We keep on Loving each other even on days that we don't quite Like each other. And that, I think, has made all the difference in our relationship. I think we are stronger today then we have ever been, both as a couple and as individual people, because we keep coming back. We keep trying. The Lord truly works all things for our good. He will turn our weaknesses into strengths, If We Let Him. He will lead us and guide us and walk beside us, If We Let Him. Because that is the other important part of all of this: The Lord needs to be a part of your relationship.
I hope this doesn't come off as preachy. As I said at the beginning, I have been feeling prompted to share certain thoughts. Celebrating Twenty-One years of marriage has made me a bit introspective regarding this topic.
Happy Anniversary Jeremy.