Challenges like we are going through right now are not new to either mine or Hubby's lives. Separately as children and together as adults we have been through some incredible valleys in our time. Still, no matter what we've been through and no matter what the future holds we know that our relationship is solid.
God loves us. The sun rises. High tide, low tide, the cycle of seasons, growing, aging, and life changes will never fail to happen-but just as surely as these things never fail us we know that our relationship will be hold just as fast.
Sadly, this is not very common anymore. Many people give up long before the seven year mark that we celebrated last November, and even more will give up long before death parts them-so what makes us so special? I think it's all in how we view love. This is what love means to us...[The parts in bold are from the Bible (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) but even if you aren't Christian I think that the way we apply these things into our lives has a place in anyone's relationship.]
Love is patient...we wait for each other and on each other. We don't belittle each other if one of us grows into understanding that the other does not have yet, and we devote ourselves to working for the good of the other person.
Love is kind...we take every opportunity to be thoughtful and considerate. Every single day we share at least one thing we love about each other.
Love does not envy...we do not compete with each other. It's not about who is better at something, it's about accomplishing it together. We are always a we.
Love does not boast...in order to put yourself above everyone else, you must put others down. Marriage is the opposite-it's about building each other up, not parading your "I did so much better than you"s in front of each other.
Love is not proud...when we need help, we ask each other. Turning to your spouse in times of need, allowing your spouse to be in on your less-than-fabulous side, will slowly knit your lives together forever.
Love is not rude...we do our best to treat each other with the up most respect. We still fight of course, but we always apologize, make amends, and go to bed happy.
Love is not self seeking...my priority is my husband, and his priority is me-we take care of each other in ways that we could not even take care of ourselves and our marriage is strong for it.
Love is not easily angered...I think this is the hardest one in practice, and yet the solution is so simple-if your spouse is not hurting themselves, you, or your children let it go. So what if you have to put the toilet seat down, or if it takes her 2 hours to get ready? Is that really damaging your greater quality of life? Then just relax-think of it as a way to show your love for even your spouses less attractive habits.
Love keeps no records of wrongs...marriage is not a tally of who did what and remember-that-time-you-did-that-thing-now-don't-you-feel-guiltys. Harboring anger or resentment in your heart hardens that part of your heart toward your spouse, and it will only be a matter of time before your entire heart is turned away from them.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in righteousness...we want good things for each other, and we want to do good things. We find our joy in doing what is right by each other even if it is less convenient or even less desirable to us than what we would otherwise have planned on doing.
Love always protects...we protect each other in every way, and-very importantly-even from ourselves. I don't make my husband out to be the bad guy behind his back. Ever. And I can say with absolute certainty that my husband has never painted me in an unkind light to someone else. We don't think that the other is perfect, but we guard each other's backs from negativity, even at our own hands (or mouths).
Always trusts...we believe in each other always-we have faith in each other always. Sometimes life is hard and one of us makes a bad decision but we will never, ever give up on the good person that we know we married.
Always hopes...there is no limit to the good we see for each other. We will always keep hoping, always keep cheer leading, and always keep supporting each other.
Always preserves...we do not give up. We do not throw our hands in the air, or give time limits or ultimatums. Ours is a life long journey hand in hand, and if it doesn't work so well today we'll do it again tomorrow. And the next day, and the next, and the next until the other characteristics of our love bring us back to where we want to be. Our love is forever.
Because love never fails.