We all want the kind of love that lasts forever, but some of us are so disheartened by our culture’s here today, gone tomorrow style of love that we simply expect love to be temporary. In fact, I remember working with a friend of mine years ago who was still waiting for Mr. Right to come along, and she said, “I thought I’d be married and divorced by now!”
Have you ever attended a wedding that left you with little hope for a happily ever after? Have you ever made bets with others on how long some marriages would last? What’s normal today was completely scandalous a century ago, but it’s not hopeless. That lifetime love still exists, but it doesn’t just fall in our laps. It requires our attention, focus, learning, humility, and reliance on God. Think about this… God wants your love story to last. He won’t lead you into a marriage doomed for failure. If the Holy Spirit is nudging you to leave a dating relationship, remember that He can see what’s coming and we have no idea.
A Forever Kind of Love
Don’t you just love the title of chapter six: “A Forever Kind of Love… Romance that’s more than a feeling”? No chapter in When God Writes Your Love Story has disappointed me, but I am particularly drawn to these words. Watch a few movies and sitcoms and you’ll be filled to your ears with stories of reckless love gone sour and of new “love” emerging. It’s entertaining, but what we really long for is to rest in a secure relationship. If I have a bad day and bark out an insult, he will still love me, and I know it. If I fall into bed without showering one night because I’m so exhausted, she’s still going to be there loving me in the morning. If my work friend had been honest with herself, she too would have admitted that she wanted a lifetime love story.
The Gushy Stuff
Eric and Leslie Ludy were no different than the rest of us. When they were in their “deliriously in love” stage, they baby talked each other, probably made adoring faces at each other and, as she put it, acted “idiotically in love.” ~smile~ There is nothing in the world wrong with a gushy phase. In fact, I visit our gushy phase in my mind from time to time with warm feelings and fond memories. Being idiotically in love is fun, but so is Space Mountain.
Leslie referred to a lot of her previous relationships as emotional roller coasters and many of us can certainly relate. The gushy stuff is fun, but it’s not stable. There has to be more to a relationship than hyperactive butterflies if there is any hope of it growing and thriving. Consider the following quote from Leslie. She sums it up beautifully!
“We need to think of the gushy stuff as merely the icing on the cake – it’s what adds that extra dimension of flavor to a relationship. But it’s not the ingredient that keeps a romance together. If we don’t have a lasting love and commitment for our spouse as the foundation for our relationship, we don’t have anything at all.”
Choosing to Love
The other night, Eric told me that he loves me because he chooses to love me. Upon first hearing it, it felt incomplete. What woman (or man, for that matter) doesn’t want an infinite list of positive traits that suggests she’s completely lovable? But at the end of the day, the fact that Eric has drawn a line in the sand and chosen to love me no matter what is what swaddles my heart in a warm blanket. If I fail, and my attributes fall away, he will still be there loving me. True love has to be based on a choice to love no matter what comes our way.
Here’s a frightening truth you need to know: the day will come when you look at your spouse and don’t feel love for him or her. Take a moment and scream if you need to. Terrifying, isn’t it? “You mean I could get married and then wonder if I even love my spouse?” My friend, you will have all kinds of thoughts about your spouse after the idiotic, delirious love wears off; yet, it’s that solid choice, that determination, that come what may attitude that will keep you and your honey walking together day after day, year after year. I think it’s only by God’s grace that we can draw a line in the sand and say “burn the bridge to my former life. I’m here to stay.”
What I love about feelings though, is that if a bad feeling comes, I’m certain a good feeling is just around the corner. Just last night, Eric made me madder than fire… and within an hour, he was my cuddle bear again. Solid relationships can’t be based on feelings alone because feelings change constantly. So years from now when you’re looking at the man or woman you married without an ounce of that lovin’ feeling radiating from your heart, choose to do something loving for him or her. After a while, you can be sure those lovin’ feelings will return. Love’s a verb. Aren’t you glad?! ~smile~
Glass of Water
Toward the end of this chapter, Leslie shares a personal routine from her life. Maybe you can relate.
She said that at night just about time to fall asleep, she gets thirsty. She’s so perfectly comfortable that she sweetly tells her husband she needs some water. He could respond in a number of negative ways (after all, I’m sure he’s sleepy and comfortable too), but what does he do? He gets up, goes to the kitchen, and brings her back some water. Sounds like a quality catch of a guy. It’s a small gesture, but it communicates a big love – a love that is obviously not based on surging excitement and butterflies. ~smile~
Read and Enjoy!
When God Writes Your Love Story has been a personal blessing to my life. My first encounter with Eric and Leslie’s writing was when I was a young teen. It was so counter cultural and comforting to hear about a couple who trusted God and did what seemed impossible to me at the time – staying completely emotionally and physically pure before marriage. As a married woman, their writing continues to bless me and I know it will bless you too. If you haven’t already, grab your copy of When God Writes Your Love Story today! ~smile~
What does a dream, lifetime romance look like to you?