It was a stressful two hours. My friend, Kelly, and I waited impatiently as Kate and Doug grew from figure skating partner acquaintances, to enemies, to friends, to almost lovers, and back to enemies. Surely, they were going to realize all the hostility between them was simply misplaced attraction. They were in love! I knew it. Kelly knew it. Please, figure it out, Kate and Doug. You two are opposites but you are meant to be.
They skated their hearts out in the final scene of the movie, The Cutting Edge. Then, as their amazing routine ended, Kate finally said, “Because I love you.” It was happening… Doug leaned in for the kiss we had all been waiting for, and as my heart beat fast in anticipation, Mom came charging into the room with a plunger in hand. “Who stopped up the toilet?!?!”
Her timing could not have been worse (or better, depending on your perspective). She ruined a perfectly good romantic comedy kiss. Did she know how much Kelly and I had suffered for this moment?! The emotional roller coaster we endured for that fifteen seconds of emotional satisfaction?
It became quite the joke after that day. One year for Christmas, she gave me a DVD copy of The Cutting Edge wrapped with a plunger (new, thankfully). I didn’t realize it at the time, but that moment pretty much sums up the difference between romantic comedy love and real-life love. We want the passion and the perfect kiss, but sometimes love means taking care of gross household chores – like, well… plunging the toilet.
Our Beliefs about Love
What we believe about love shapes many of our decisions. It is paramount in choosing a spouse. It affects how we interact with each other. It leads us to feel loved in one situation and unloved in another. Understanding the truth about love and fully fleshing out what you believe about love is an important step to take before marriage. And, what better place to showcase your beliefs about love than in your personal creed?
Love Day is Almost Here
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, love is in the air. Some are scrambling to secure a date. Others are contemplating popping the question. Most couples are planning a small celebration of sorts – even if it is just take-out food and Netflix. Companies everywhere are advertising like crazy to cash in on the financial windfall that is Valentine’s Day. Many would argue that love is the foundation of our lives. Something so central to our beings is worth investigating, is it not?
There are many definitions of love out there. Some say love is telling the whole truth no matter the cost. Others say love is being supportive whether you agree with your loved one or not. Many folks believe love is showering someone with money and gifts. And, there are those who see love as endless acts of service – cooking, baking, laundry, shopping, etc. These are just four of many beliefs people hold about love. What are your beliefs? What has history, your upbringing, your faith, and your personality taught you about love?
Here are more questions for your Creed binder: ~smile~
- When is the first time I remember feeling loved? What were the circumstances?
- With which commonly held beliefs about love do I not agree and why?
- When I think about the ideal marriage, what comes to mind?
- Has anyone ever hurt you and called it love? What were the circumstances? How did that experience affect you?
- How do I plan to show love to my future spouse? Write down specifics.
- What is my definition of love?
- What does God’s Word say about love and how does it compare to my definition?
When it comes to love, we could pose hundreds of questions. For the sake of time, we will stick with the above seven. Since love is one the main reasons people get married, fleshing out the difference between true love and infatuation, and uncovering your root beliefs about love, is time well spent.
Though Eric and I were as crazy about each other as any other engaged couple, we had different beliefs about love which made our transition into married life challenging. My upbringing and beliefs about God led me to see love as a soft, tender, giving, sacrificing, and passionate affair. Eric’s beliefs led him to see love as honesty, protection, hard work, and willingness to teach and learn. I often saw his honesty and desire to teach me as a negative. He just wants to show off his intelligence. Why can’t he stop preaching at me and gaze at me like he adores me? He likely had thoughts of his own. Is it too hard to keep the kitchen clean occasionally? I would appreciate her kisses more if the dishwasher was humming in the background.
In retrospect, discovering, writing down, and discussing our personal views on love and expressing love would have been time well spent. Please, do it now. Do not wait until 3am on a Thursday morning when you are ready to serve divorce papers to say, “I cannot tell if you even love me!!!”
As you prepare for Valentine’s Day, answer the questions above and talk about your beliefs with each other. Additionally, let your sweetheart know the ways you plan to show him or her love in the future, and specific reasons why you love him or her now (if your relationship has reached the love stage).
What Does the Bible Say About Love?
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (I Corinthians 13:4-7, ESV)
We hear this passage preached frequently and recited at wedding after wedding, but how often do we dwell on its message? If we embraced this passage – if we committed to living it – it would transform our relationships.
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8, ESV)
In marriage, it is tempting to adopt a 50/50 mentality which essentially says, “I will love you as much as you love me. I will give to you as much as you give to me. I will sacrifice for you if you continue to sacrifice for me.” The above verse squashes that notion to bits by reminding us we did nothing (and continue to do nothing) to earn God’s love or favor. God sacrificed His only Son to reconcile Himself and us, all while we were showing Him nothing but contempt. How does thinking about that verse impact your beliefs about love now?
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (I Peter 4:8, ESV)
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12, ESV)
Let all that you do be done in love. (I Corinthians 16:14, ESV)
Happy Valentine’s Day!
We wish you and your Sugar Bear a Happy Valentine’s Day. Eat something tasty. Show each other how much you care and use this season to define your core beliefs about love. You are doing some great foundational work towards your personal and couple’s creeds!
In what ways do you and your significant other disagree about love?