It isn’t my anniversary. Donna and I haven’t just had a wonderful, romantic time out together. Neither of us just said or did that perfect little thing that pushes all the right buttons.
This morning we worshiped together, then treated ourselves to take out. We brought it home, ate it making sounds that would have turned either of us off on a first date. We got very messy, then had to clean up and do the dishes. This full morning took its toll on her and she is laying down for a nap.
During all this, I found myself looking at her. Sometimes I can see right through the 65 year old looking back at me, and there is the 17 year old who (though she was so insecure she didn’t know it) had an indescribable power over me. She is still there. She has been there all these years. And I am confident she will be there until one of us goes home to the King. I want to be with Him, but I find myself asking if I can have a few more years with her first. A few years ago my daughter described my relationship with her as “loving her fiercely”. I like that. It has an intensity and a consistency that matches my love for this woman I have been watching today.
I hear a lot of people talk about how they are in love, and unfortunately many describe falling out of love. If you stop to listen, they describe love as a pit—something you fall into, as though they have nothing to do with it—and then, defying the laws of nature, fall out of again, also as though they have nothing to do with it. I want to laugh (and sometimes I do) because I have watched some of these people work their tails off (figuratively, of course😊) to be in love. Then they stop working, and oddly enough, they fall out of love.
Donna and I aren’t always in love. I don’t always have the feelings I have today. No one can keep up that kind of emotionally intensity—especially those of you with children at home. But I believe after almost 47 years of marriage I have earned the right to speak to two points:
- The love that makes a marriage isn’t “in love”. It is the Biblical “agape”, doing what is best for the other.
- That said, “in love” feels good, and like most people, I really like it. So I figured out about 30 years ago that when I realize I am not feeling “in love” anymore, I can rekindle those feelings for her by simply doing the same things I did when I first fell in love with her almost 50 years ago. I think of her. I look at her and see how blessed I am. I decide I want to be part of her life, so I listen to all those things I don’t really care about because SHE does care about them. I ask myself what would make her feel good, and I move heaven and earth to do that. Most importantly, I love her—the agape love. I pray for her constantly and ask the Lord to show me how I can be there for her.
I am writing this blog because as a minister, a counselor, and a person who isn’t blind looking at marriages today, I know many people need to hear this—people who still feel in love, and especially people who don’t. I am writing this because I know many who have not experienced this, and I want them to know that they can. I am writing this to honor our King who created us for marriage and gave me Donna to spend my life with. And I am writing this because I tend to write these things on anniversaries (yes, I celebrate more than one), birthdays, etc. Today I want to write this for no other reason than I am blown away that God has given me a life with this person.
Thank you, my King. Your gifts are truly beyond our understanding!
Know Jesus, and Be Faithful!