There comes a day in your life, maybe more than one day, when you begin to realize what the more important things in life are. Turns out all the fights I put up in Junior High and High School about important issues were just as trivial as my parents made them out to be.
There comes a day when realizing what you want turns into realizing what you actually need. There comes a day when you realize that keeping something means working for it. There comes a day when you realize treasuring something isn’t a one day fix, but a daily choice to treasure it. There comes a day when you realize what you love won’t always come easy to you, and it’s on that day that you decide one of two things:
It’s worth it.
Lately, I’ve been learning, that when the days you choose to love something begin to add up, the challenges begin to add up too. As if on cue, the challenges begin to rise when we feel the closest to achieving our goals and overcoming the fear and relentless human nature we all so irrevocably possess.
Some days, I am very good at loving. Some days, I make other people feel wonderful and happy and loved. I know that, because they tell me. I know that, because it makes my heart stretch in ways that cause the devil to cringe. Some days, I’m really good at this being a wife thing. Some days, I make him feel important and wonderful and inspiring. Some days, I feel inspired to do cute things that make him feel like he made the best decision with choosing me.
But some days aren’t every day.
When I say that most days, I’m no good at loving, I mean that with every fiber in my being. Many days, I wake up too groggy to take on the day, and it shows in my words and actions all. day. long.
Many days, the afternoon headache leaves me irritated and uncomfortable in my own skin. Many days, I feel insecure and upset with who I am, and I channel those emotions in the same love I showed him the day before. Some days, I lace up my shoes and let the pavement catch my guilty feet and prayers for God’s grace to flood my every thought and action.
I hear couples say all the time “Oh, we never fight” or “We’ve never had a real fight” and all I want to do is start the slow clap, only to stop and say, “just kidding, don’t care.” See I told you many days I’m no good.
But if there’s anything I’ve learned this week of being married, it’s that disagreements have more to do with denying our selfishness than ACTUALLY disagreeing with them. We want what we want. Our true selfishness shows up most aggressive when it involves someone we love. If you don’t believe that, think of the last argument you had with someone you love. I’ll spare you the quotes about how we say the meanest things to those closest to us, because I know you’ve heard them just as many times as I have.
Marriage, love, and any other relationship out there requires something of all of us. It may require more patience for me than it does for you. It may require a softer heart for you than it does for me. But either way, it requires something of us.
It requires you to think back on the very day that you realized what you loved most wasn’t going to come easy. It requires you to think back on the exact moment that you knew and felt the heart-wrenching grip of the Holy Spirit telling you THIS. IS. WORTH. IT.
You know what I could do with the days that I’m no good at loving? I could let them pile up into a mess of bitterness. I could let it pile up into a mess of resentment. I could let it pile up into a mess of unhappiness and anger. And you know where all of those emotions would be pointing back to? MYSELF. My resentment toward who I am. My bitterness, unhappiness, and anger with who I let myself become.
My selfishness has nothing to do with husband, other than the fact that he possesses his own fair share. When I unleash nasty words in anger, I let my selfishness win. When I show frustration and impatience with my words, actions, and demeanor, I let my selfishness win. When I choose to take my OWN side, and refuse to back down, I let my selfishness win. Every time I choose to let selfishness win, I’m letting the devil get his foot in a battle that I have professed is already won. With every battle I let him win, I become weaker. With every battle I let him win, he becomes more of a threat to my love for my husband. With every battle I let him win, I didn’t let God fight for me.
You see, it’s in the moments that WE ARE NO GOOD AT LOVING, that have to realize the power to love another soul does NOT come from ourselves. I made that covenant in front of my God, and it’s the SAME God that allows me to shed even the little bits of genuine love that I have in my heart to win over my selfishness. day. after. day.
When I choose to let Him help me in those moments, my marriage wins. my love wins. my Savior is honored. Through ME. Every chance I choose to love, despite the days that I’m no good at it, I push my husband’s heart, my own heart, closer to our eternity with Jesus. I have no job as a wife as important as that one. You have no job more important than that when loving someone.
“My love for you is not poetry, it is late nights of agonizing thoughts; and long days of selfless actions. It weighs upon my mind like a mad riddle, as I grow older, it becomes more obvious how hard it is to love selflessly; how much responsibility it holds.
If I am to love you at all, it is only through the grace of Christ. For I am not enough, but I know He is” // T.B. LaBerge.
There will be days when you’re no good at it. Maybe it was today. Maybe it was yesterday. Maybe it’ll be tomorrow. Choose what you do with that. Choose wisely. Choose what matters more.
Choose that it’s worth it.