After "I DO"
Is it Springtime now? Is it hot, or cold? Winter? Relationships have their seasons, some of which last longer than others. Survival sometimes, may be as simple as remaining rooted in kindness, humility, and patience instead of being self-seeking. In our sunny seasons when all is right, the passion and love can be felt. Then out of nowhere we encounter conflict and our leaves of hope, unity, and security, falls off. Seasons change.
At this point we may want to know, who are we willing to die for, or lay down our needs and pride for? We may not have to neglect our own needs and feelings, but the other person’s may take priority above ours. We must know when to go halfway or all the way because sometimes the other person is running on empty.
This kind of self-sacrificial love doesn't consider itself first, but we shy away from it because our need to be right can be louder than the need to be one in a marriage, for example. Somewhere in the past, wounds were created causing hurt, pride, and fear and they’ve formed the root of our responses.
The REAL concept/blueprint for love is the way God loves us overtime. It's a journey, and not a destination.
The journey of loving may not be had on the first try, but it's encouraged to try again tomorrow. When I wasn't sure how to love like God, I told him, "I don't know how, please help me." Or, when I didn't know how to release my hurt and receive healing, I said, "Father, I don't know how but I know you do, help me." When we ask God for help, we must be willing to be helped. It will require us to show up in our most vulnerable state and be ok with releasing the control to God. It means taking accountability for the parts we played so that our souls can be made whole again in His likeness.
When the need to love harder is being tested, we can choose to break, or to bend. Many times, it's easier to give up because we get to run and hide from investing more of ourselves. I recently had a vision of two pieces of elastic. The first when stretched broke, but when the other was stretched, it expanded. God asked me which one I was willing to be. He gave me the opportunity to choose because that's what love does. Am I willing to be flexible to experience change in the journey, or do I maintain my perspective and break? I don't know about you, but I don't enjoy hard things even though they are necessary. But it's that resistance and pressure in the gym that produces muscles. We must go through those hard times to truly love. Look at Jesus!
It's not about how well we can articulate the feelings we feel but how well our hearts are adorned with the fruit of God's Spirit: love, joy, peace, etc.
I encourage you to push past pride, fear, and selfishness, and choose to be one instead of being right. I'm still working on my love thing and desire to have deeper roots.
Marriage was God's idea, and He is the only One who can maintain His idea. If we are willing to open the door of our hearts and let God in the room of our fears and disappointments, He will touch our emotions and heal us from these internal infections. I say this because He is more than willing, but He needs an “in”.
Life isn't always cookies and cream, but if we give God our emptiness and pain instead of our spouse, He will refill us and heal those roots established by the desire to break. I pray He refills you with everything needed for your season.