“Love Ain’t Easy Peasy…”
Dearest Kelsey and Austin,
- From the frozen tundra of Illinois to the balmy breezes of Texas here come a few more lovin’ tips from your grandparents. Today we have been married 20,355 days. You’d think we’d have it figured out, right? We don’t. We are still learning how to love each other extravagantly.
Love is so easy to SAY and so hard to DO. At first, it’s really easy with our “one and only” so we decide to get hitched. That is a good thing, but you’ve been a couple long enough to notice that too frequently loving each other more than yourself ain’t that easy peasy.
Sometimes it is hardest for me to “keep my love on” with the one I love the most. Could it be because he is who I am closest to, the one most often in my space while seeing life differently, the one who helps me recognize my selfish tendencies as a human?
Here is an excerpt from my upcoming book “NeverEnding GodStories: Adventures of Lifetime with Him” available on Amazon next month. It will give you a glimpse of our early newlywed years when we were learning to let God transform us into lifetime lovers.
Don and I argued a lot when we were first married. Trash was definitely the biggie. Since the day we said I DO, we both had been loudly saying I DON’T when it came to taking out the trash. In Don’s family his mom did garbage duty, so he thought that was the wife’s job. In my family my dad did that dirty task; so obviously it was hubby’s job.
We both learned a lot about doing married life by mirroring how our parents had done it, especially when it worked for our personal advantage. Quietly after several years of constant trash talk I began doing the job without a word. He was amazed. God was at work in me. It is often the small things that erode a relationship. I was learning that it can also be the small things which build it stronger.
My mouth was no small thing, and it was undergoing a big transformation. Don and I had fallen into predicable roles when we argued. Sometimes I barked at him meaner than a junkyard dog while Don balked with me, stubborn as a mule. Our animal behaviors didn’t help us relate. As God’s Spirit worked within me, Don noticed that his fiery young bride who had always been quick to clarify the correct way to think about absolutely everything was now quieter and taking time to actually think before blurting out whatever popped into her head.
I no longer felt it was necessary to be right in every argument. That one change alone was dramatic evidence of God’s amazing transformation. I have observed that this attitude of assumed rightness is one of the top causes of fighting with couples. Not having to be right or have the last word began to diffuse anger. Sometimes we couldn’t agree so we agreed to disagree and move on.
Whether to allow the Spirit to be in control of my words or to insist on my viewpoint would continue to be a daily choice for our entire marriage. I hate to say that there would be more days when things such as the trash would pop up again as an issue. I would still have to choose whether to be self-centered or choose to love. But God is faithful to transform us from the inside when we ask Him for His help…
God designed us with a need to connect with Him to really nail this love thing to last an entire lifetime of ups and downs. So dear Kelsey and Austin, we pray for you to learn to love early and love well. It is hard work and so worth every little loving choice you make as you become lifetime lovers.
With hugs from Grandma V