It seemed appropriate for Valentine's Day to write a post about love. Here are 7 things I have learned about love.
1. Love is messy. Not 'vomit on me and I'll still cuddle you anyways' love or even 'sure you can use my toothbrush' love, although those things are true in this house. Love is messy because people are messy. And two people can't really love each other without showing each other everything, giving each other everything and sharing everything with one another. Two becomes one and that is messy.
2. Love is silly. In our home, love is dancing in the kitchen after dinner. Silly, fun, crazy dancing. Love is silly faces we make at each other when we're trying to be mad at the other one. Love is silly songs made up to make the other one laugh, and silly voices to boot.
3. Love is crazy. I mean, really. It's crazy. We have bound ourselves to one another, knowing full well that the other one is crazy and weird and completely incapable of keeping the vows we made to each other on our wedding day.
4. Love is sacrifice. Sacrificing time, energy, your favorite television show, your fear of raw meat because your husband is a crazy carnivore, your idea of what 'life' should be because he's called to ministry and therefore so are you.
5. Love is work. It is hard work loving someone else, and it's not always fun or glamorous. It's not only cleaning up after someone who has his own ideas of what clean is; it's choosing to listen to what's really going on instead of assuming the worst when something goes awry. It's work to love an imperfect person and it doesn't always feel like love.
6. Love is a choice. Every day, it's a choice. Am I going to show love to this imperfect and sometimes infuriating spouse of mine? Am I going to choose to look beyond today's grievances and see the man/woman that God sees and loves?
7. Love is humbling. Humbling because you'll never get it right, you'll never be the husband/wife you desire to be. You'll never be able to love him/her completely selflessly or do all things with a servant heart.
But love isn't about being perfect. Love is about commitment when that 'loving feeling' is waning, repentance when we're wrong, forgiveness in the midst of hurt, and trust. Trust not in feelings or ideals or a fairy tale, but trust in the One who keeps all vows, loves with a perfect and fierce love, and stands with us in the daily muck and loves us. His love was the model for what true love does and what true love is. His love points us to the source of love and shines a light at all our feeble attempts at love. We may never get it right, but there is One who did and continually does on our behalf.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10