Falling in Love is Not the Greatest Adventure Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
I met my husband at the mall.
We don’t have some romantic story of being high school sweethearts. We won’t ever be able to say that we were introduced by mutual friends, or that we met at church camp when we were 15. There were no mysterious drinks sent from across a crowded bar.
Nope. I was selling clothes, and he was selling shoes, and one day I bought him a cookie. It was just that simple.
I remember how I felt the first time I saw him. I thought he was adorable. He was quiet, and I was outgoing enough for the both of us. But looking back on what I know of him now, he made quite an effort to match my enthusiasm. (This was a hard feat even back then.) But seriously, my heart raced when I was around him. I made nervous comments, and did a bunch of awkward things that I wish I could take back, but all are a part of our story now.
I remember falling in love with him. I remember exactly how it felt. It felt like the first time I ever saw a high-def TV. I know that’s probably the most random comparison, but everything seemed so much clearer, brighter, better around him. I didn’t remember what life was like before we met, and I really didn’t want to know what life would be like without him.
My husband sweetly nods and agrees when I ask him how he felt about me.
We did what every young couple madly in love would do in our shoes. We got engaged, planned a wedding and got married a year later.
But not long after we were wed, all of that love-struck wonder began to wear off. I can still remember how worried I was when I noticed that I didn’t feel for my husband like I did when we first met. I questioned if there was a way to get that feeling “back.” I worried that there was something wrong with me. I looked for books and searched articles online for ways to fall back in love with my husband, but I didn’t find any solid advice.
No one told me that truly loving my husband had very little to do with how I felt about him.
I knew what falling in love felt like. I had no idea what getting up, brushing off the rose-colored dust and walking in love looked like.
I know now that walking in love looks like a choice. Every single day.
Walking in love takes effort, endurance, compromise. It is hundreds of dinners at home and the same number of quiet nights. It is hours of being together and not having to say a single word. It is contentment.
It is a call in the middle of the day, or an extra tube of toothpaste at the store because I remembered he was out. It is his favorite bag of chips when I wanted to buy mine. It is considerate.
It is the choice to forgive daily. It is forgiveness from past offenses and future hurts. It is the chance to choose grace over and over again.
Walking in love looks like letting him discover himself and loving every version of himself that he finds.
Walking in love is selfless. It is patient. It endures.
I was afraid that because I didn’t feel the way I once had about my husband, I might not love him as much as I used to. But what I failed to realize is that love isn’t just the intensity of what I feel, it is the commitment to how far we will go.
I love my husband more today than I did the day it first spilled from my lips – a whispered, “I love you.” We have walked through so much together, and carried one another and pressed on when we felt like quitting. We have miles to testify of our love. We have measured steps that tell our love story.
Through it all, I know now that we have walked farther than we could have ever fallen, and I have realized this great truth. The greatest adventure isn’t falling in love. It is walking every day shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand with the Lord as your guide. He reminds us in His Word to walk in love as He walked in love – with grace, with forgiveness, with selflessness and most importantly with Him.
So, to you who have recently fallen, your journey has just begun. Enjoy every step to come.
To you who fear that love is slipping, keep walking. One step and then another… Keep choosing love.
To those of you who wonder if it is still love, it is. Look back at each step. Every step is a part of the journey. Each one makes up the words of your story.
To those who have walked silently hand in hand for years, thank you for setting the trail.
And to those who have walked until in old age wouldn’t allow another step, thank you for giving us hope.
Anyone can fall in love, but when we let the Lord set the pace, and follow where He leads, walking in love will be so much more of an adventure than falling ever dared to be.
Today, I choose one more step forward.
May my emotions realize what my heart knows to be true. Loving my husband is not how I feel. It is what I do.
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