Stefanie Melton a part time blogger at To Be Still and Know who writes about truths, promises and encouragements from God’s Word. She loves to inspire other women and set their hearts on fire for Christ! She lives in a small town in Virginia with her husband and three children.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7
My husband and I just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary on the 3rd of January this year and looking back at our journey through this life together, thus far, this verse comes to mind. This verse doesn’t say that love is a bed of roses or that love is easy. In fact it states some facts- that even with love there will be hard times or else there wouldn’t be a need for love to never give up, be hopeful and endure. My husband and I haven’t had an easy ride, that’s for sure.
We’ve seen our share of troubles ranging from health issues, to financial struggles, to familial struggles and loss of loved ones and raising three beautiful children. And through it all I have come to fully understand that true love isn’t a feeling, it’s a conscious choice we make every single day. It’s a choice to get up each day and give of yourself to your husband and children, taking care of them and their needs. It’s a choice to not nag your husband about a to do list you feel he’s never going to get to. It’s a choice to extend grace upon grace. It’s a choice to forgive when harsh words are spoken or birthdays are overlooked. It’s a choice to make time for date nights when you’d rather stay in yoga pants and go to bed early because of all the other people and things that have required your time and energy throughout the days. It’s a choice to show respect for your spouse’s opinions by not always demanding things be your way. It’s a choice to keep fighting for your marriage even when you don’t feel like anymore. Love is a choice.
Sometimes love will be an easy choice because the circumstances in your life and marriage are going smoothly and when circumstances are going well you feel more loving. The real test of love comes when life and marriage isn’t going smoothly. You know what I mean! Work is extra stressful and demanding, the kids are sick or have a calendar full of events to attend and prepare for. The laundry is piling up and the dishwasher breaks down. You aren’t sure how to make ends meet until the next paycheck comes. You are seeing double from exhaustion of being up at night with a baby. You are feeling neglected by your husband in some manner, either physically or emotionally and wish he would just make an effort. These all make for an atmosphere where love can feel absent, but that is when we have to hold fast to the truth that love is not a feeling but a choice and the actions that follow those choices.
And do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
What are some practical ways we can choose to love our husbands even when we aren’t feeling very loving?
- Speak their love language. If you don’t know what their love language is, I highly recommend taking this quiz to find out. Then purposely do something each day that shows them you care.
- Choose to overlook some things that really annoy you but aren’t actually that big of a deal in the long run, such as dirty socks on the bedroom floor or dishes in the sink that you seem to be the only one to do something about.
- Fully deliberately hug them every day. I don’t mean a quick distracted hug as they head out the door to work, but a purposeful undistracted embrace that lasts longer than a couple seconds. Men typically see love through physical affection and that doesn’t always have to be sex, but rather just extra touches or hugs.
- Show genuine interest in your husband’s work day. What men do for a living really fuels their self esteem and by showing you care about what goes on during his day will show him that you care about him.
- Take time to remember what made you want to marry him in the first place. Why did you say yes? What drew you to him? What are his traits for which you are thankful?
Let 2016 be the year that you “re-fall” in love with the man you married! Love is a beautiful priceless gift from God and love is worth fighting for!