After a series of fights and misunderstandings, the hero and heroine realize they are desperately in love and kiss passionately. Birds start singing and the whole world is brighter.
Well, Hollywood's version of love.
Unfortunately, physical attraction, obsession, and passion don't cement two people together for long. Attraction is the icing on the cake, but there is a love that lasts a lifetime.
What is that love?
What does it look like?
Well, let me start by describing it.
Love that lasts starts with mutual respect and admiration. Two people can look up to one another without either one being intimidated or trying to "put the other in their place."
Not only do two people respect one another, but they want the best for one another, even if that doesn't include the relationship working out. Let me explain. When a man loves a woman, he wants her to walk in God's perfect will for her life, even he is not part of that equation. He cheers her on. A woman who loves a man does everything she can to inspire him and encourage him to grow in his giftings and strengths. Sometimes this requires making sacrifices.
Love that lasts a lifetime is kind and polite. It says, "Good morning" every morning with a sunny smile and looks for thoughtful words to speak and loving actions to perform all day long.
Treating the person we "love" with rudeness and disrespect reveals a lack of love. True love is not desiring another, but desiring to give and serve another person. One of my favorite ways my husband shows love to me is bringing me a cup of coffee each morning while I am checking my emails. It is such a little thing, but such a thoughtful gesture. I love it!
Sometimes people are kind in order to win a person's love and once won, they shut it off. True love is kind day in and day out, making every difficulty in life more bearable.
Love that lasts a lifetime is loyal. It refuses to put the loved one in a bad light, even when he or she deserves it. It stands by during the rough and embarrassing times as faithfully as through the good times. A loving spouse shares good things about the other with a grateful heart.
Love that lasts a lifetime thinks more about the other person and less about him or herself. Thoughts about how something will affect the spouse come before thoughts of how it will affect self. Even when a true lover's heart is breaking, he or she thinks about the other in a desire to minister to the deep places of his or her heart.
True love offers encouragement when times are heart by reminding the person they love that God is bigger than any problem and Jesus' love will see them through. Because, you see, the source of true love is Jesus. It is when we are less and Christ is more, filling us to overflowing, that true love flows from our hearts. Some of us realize the truth before the wedding day, but many of us wake up one day married, realizing that there is no way to truly love our spouse. And so we cry out to Jesus, to love through us. What a blessing for the believer that His love can fill us to overflowing. Christ's love is enough to overcome every barrier to true love and shines a light of hope in the darkest times.
If you are struggling in your marriage, I encourage you to surrender your marriage and your heart to Jesus. Ask Him to take over and love through you. It is hard sometimes to let go and put something in God's hands, but He is faithful to heal, restore, and bless.
If you feel unloved in your marriage, I encourage you to look to Jesus for the love that you need and allow Him to meet your needs in any way He chooses. Release your spouse from expectations and see every act of kindness as a blessing.
True love that flows from the heart of God is a blessing in all of our relationships, so press in to Jesus and allow His love to flow through you. You will see amazing things happen!