We met in kindergarten, but it wasn’t until high school that I started loving him.
I was 16 years old and had no idea what I was doing in life.
He was 15…almost 16. He told me he loved me the first time we talked on the phone.
I didn’t know how to respond.
It didn’t take long for me to fall for him, though.
He sweet talked me, bought me flowers and filled my locker with love notes.
My favorite high school memories include him.
I have been married for close to 20 years and we have had some really rough days and some really incredible days.
I love my husband…
I mean, I love him today.
I’m not saying that I have loved him every single day this week.
Because the truth is?
Love is not a feeling.
I don’t know when we all started believing that it was.
Love is an action.
It’s a command, actually. Which means that if I am not actively living it out, I’m just plain not obeying God.
So when I hear people say that they just don’t love their husband anymore?
Well, it’s not really a matter of feeling something, or not feeling something.
It’s a matter of obedience.
If I say I don’t love my husband anymore, I am saying that I choose to not obey God.
Plain and simple.
Love is described in 1 Corinthians 13 like this:
It is patient. Sometimes I am impatient with Adam. He is much slower moving than I am, and while that is such a good match for someone like me who is constantly moving and running around, sometimes I don’t appreciate the slower pace.
It is kind. Sometimes I am not kind with my words or my actions. I am quick to speak and then have to apologize for my words.
It does not boast. Sometimes I decide to “take the high road” and “be the better person” and tell him I’m doing so. This is not being the better person. It’s boasting. And it’s sinful.
It is not proud. The Bible is so clear on this one. Where there is strife? There is pride. Anytime we are arguing and disagreeing on things, it’s because of pride. I want to have my way, I want my way to be understood, and I want my way to be followed. Pride. And that is not love.
It does not dishonor. Sometimes I roll my eyes, and even act like I’m so great because I was slow to speak. My face can show just as much dishonor as my words. I hate when I do that.
It is not self seeking. Sometimes I care more about what I can get, and wanting to make sure Adam knows how much I do for him and the family. It’s always wrong when I am so focused on myself and making myself look better and feel better that I don’t consider his feelings above my own.
It is not easily angered. I am not really a quick tempered person in general. But there have definitely been times when I have shown my anger when I could have just walked away, or taken a deep breath, or stopped thinking about myself.
It keeps no record of wrong. I don’t want to do this one. I really don’t. But I admit that there are times in the middle of an argument, when I bring up the words “always” or “never” and I bring things up that happened long ago. True love does not even keep a record of wrong.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Always. It’s a strong word. I don’t think I do a good job persevering on days that I have gotten up earlier than anyone in the house, or on days where I’m particularly tired. It’s not ok. And there is never a good excuse for it.
See, here’s the bottom line.
We have let society, our thoughts of what life should look like, and what romance is supposed to be, determine our own expectations of what is right and what is wrong when it comes to marriage.
Loving my husband has absolutely nothing at all to do with how I feel on any given day.
Loving my husband has absolutely nothing at all to do with emotional connection, having my needs met, or what’s in it for me.
Loving my husband is a command that God has given me and involves me, actively showing love on a daily basis regardless of how I feel.
That is loving my husband.
I can’t use the excuse of “I don’t love my husband anymore” to give myself permission to treat him poorly, to demand my rights, or to walk away.
Disobedience to God does not have any excuse that makes it ok.
So ya, sometimes I just don’t love my husband.
And every time that happens? I am disobeying God.
Every time that happens? I need to go back to the truth of God’s word and realize that doing what pleases God may take some work, but the rewards always make it worth it.
Marriage is hard work, no doubt about it.
But it’s a commitment I made before God, and I refuse to go back on my word.
Don’t let anyone, including yourself, convince you that love is a feeling, and that you get to choose when you love your husband or when you don’t.
Love is an action.
Love is a command.
Love is choice.
Choose to love your husband and God will bless you with the results.
(*I am not minimizing the truth that there are people who may be reading this who either know someone who is in an abusive relationship, or may themselves be in an abusive relationship. I am referring to people who simply decide that life is too hard, and the work is not worth it. Don’t misunderstand this post to make it seem like I am saying that a person who is an an abusive relationship should simply stay there and love. There is a lot more to it than that. It is however, intended to remove the lackadaisical approach that we tend to have towards marriage, and the lack of work that people put in whenever they are just simply not in the mood to put in the work.)