There is only one true definition of love, and it doesn’t come from the lyrics of a song, a romance novel, and most definitely not from Disney movies! The true definition of love is found in the Bible. God has a lot to say about love, the most important being that He IS love (1 John 4:8.) But like everyone, I needed to learn and grown in God’s type of love, not what I thought love was.
This part of my story is difficult to write. Not because it’s painful or difficult, but because my husband is not as okay with openness as I am, and I want to honor and respect that. So, I’m going to try to keep to just the facts, and the parts I played in them.
The year was 1992. It was August. The family I was living with and I were attending a church that had a singles group. I started going to the singles functions, and getting to know the people in the group. There was one guy who I ended up talking to frequently, but we had nothing in common, and we would even get into arguments from time to time. Our tastes in music were completely different (still are.) He loved sports, and I couldn’t be bothered (still true.) He was steadfast and disciplined about life, and I was a flighty, hot mess (I’m getting better, he hasn’t changed at all.) He was 29, and I was 19. The only thing we had in common was our love of God, and our church. So, of course by December we were dating, because that made total sense. By February we were engaged, with a wedding date of May 8th set. I loved him for his stability and strength of godly character, which isn’t very romantic, but holds true to this day. He already had a solid job at the mill, a house, a Camaro (complete with one of those fancy, huge car phones), and a motorcycle. Let’s look at that timeline again; met and married in ten months time, none of which was during softball season (this will be important later.)
By our first anniversary I was three months pregnant with our first child, and as with all newly married couples we had gone through a lot of adjusting to married life. One adjustment was the man’s love of softball. He was on multiple summer and fall leagues; because he was good at the game. Remember my view on sports? Yeah…it was an adjustment. Which in all honesty I did not handle well. At all. See, I was looking for my husband to fulfill me, and when I felt he fell short in that department (which was never his job in the first place), it created tension. I look back with great regret on the unobtainable expectations I put on him. I should have been looking to Jesus Christ to fulfill me, because He’s the only one who can. Not only that, He wants to!
I don’t recommend this as being the way one should go about courtship and marriage. I like the- date-for-a-year, marry, wait-at-least-a-year-to-get-pregnant route, but that was not the plan God had for us. And His plan is always good, and always best. We recently celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary, and as with any marriage, there have been ups and downs through the years. The important take-away from our story is that no matter how different you are, no matter how hard times get, if Jesus is the center of your lives (individually and as a couple), it can work. Romantic love is a nice feeling, but real love is a choice. Jesus demonstrated this when He died on the cross for us; in our place. That’s true love. Love that has depth to it.
For those of you reading this who know us personally, I’m sure you can attest to the fact that we are not a huggy-lovey-touchy-feely, romantic couple. However, if you spend more time getting to know us, hopefully you would see there is a deep, foundational love between us with God at the center. And to us, that’s what’s most important.
Next up: Parenthood. Not the show, our real life story.