Thursday, July 14, 2011

The truth about LOVE

I believe the most important thing parents can do for their children is to love each other and maintain a stable and happy relationship.  A strong marriage provides security for children and a model for their own future marriages.  To be totally honest, we've had rough times in our marriage- I won't lie.  We can both be very stubborn strong-willed.  We're continually learning how to better communicate to keep our marriage strong and happy.  It takes serious work.  But these little ones are worth every effort.

Someone once told Stephen Covey he had fallen out of love with his wife. He said, "The feeling we once had just isn't there anymore- our love is dead. I think our marriage may be over. But you know, we have 3 kids... what do you think we should we do?"

Covey responded, "Love her."

The guy said, "But I just told you, the feeling just isn't there anymore. So now what do you suggest?"

Covey repeated, "LOVE her. Love is a verb. Love the feeling is a fruit of love the verb.  Start thinking selflessly- give of yourself, sacrifice for her. Show love."

I think this is such a powerful truth! I know of so many marriages that have been rebuilt by couples choosing to love. Forgiving is a verb. Patience is a verb. We can choose our own response. We can choose to love first- instead of waiting for the other to be loving. We can choose to look for the good in each other. I have not always been good at looking for the good. Jon and I even have a nickname for my feisty side- Nicolette. Lol. But we're both learning that when we wake up each morning and think to ourselves, "What can I do to make my husband's/wife's life easier? What can I do to show him/her love?" It is a much happier way to live than being critical and negative.

Now I should add- I'm not naive enough to think that this is always the solution to every problem or that every marriage can or should survive. I worked as an advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, so I'm well aware that there are situations where marriages have serious problems, and just love and patience will not always solve those problems. There are legitimate reasons for divorce.

But I believe many marriages can be saved if we would choose to be selfless. Love within marriage can be recreated through service, sacrifice, and devotion. We can never go wrong by choosing to love generously, even when we don't feel like it.  Charity never faileth.  That's the truth.

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