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(Source: browndresswithwhitedots, via heartbeatofatwentysomething)

I Didn't Love My Wife When We Got Married

shinheepinhee:

"I’m a ridiculous, emotional, over-sentimental sap.  I guess that’s why I told my wife I loved her on our second date.

I had tried really hard up to that point to hold it back, honestly.  I wanted to tell her on the first date, but I knew that would probably be weird.

I still remember her reaction.  She kind of gave me this half-shy, half-amused smile.  Then she nodded and looked off into the sky.

I wasn’t heartbroken by the response.  I think part of me recognized that she was much smarter and more modest than me.

But as time has gone on, I also realized that she knew something that I didn’t.

Like most Hasidic Jews (we both became religious later in life), our dating period lasted a very short time.  After two months of dating, we were engaged.  Three months after that, we were married.

And that whole time I was swooning.  This fire was burning in me, a fire that burned just like that second date: I was in love.

But then we got married, and everything changed.

Marriage, quicker than I was ready for, did this thing: It started sucking away that emotion.

I tried so hard to keep that fire going, to keep that emotion alight, but it got harder and harder.

I mean, how you can feel that burning love when you’re sitting at the table discussing how to use the last $20 in your bank account?

How can you feel it when you get into an argument?

How can you feel it when you think it makes perfect sense to put your socks on the floor after you’re done with them, and she has this crazy idea that they need to go in the laundry basket?

There was no way I could keep that dating fire burning as practicality invaded our lives.

And at first, it drove me nuts.  That emotion meant love!  That excitement was how I knew I cared for her!  But suddenly, life was this grind.  Even when I was with her.  Especiallywhen I was with her.

And even worse, it seemed that the harder I tried to be sentimental and lovey-dovey, the less it was reciprocated.

But it wasn’t that she wasn’t giving me love, it just seemed to come at different times.

Like, when I offered to do the dishes.  Or make dinner after she had a hard day.  Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her.

I don’t think I noticed this consciously for a while.  It just kept happening.

But I think it had an effect on me.  Because as our marriage progressed, I found myself offering to help out around the house more and more.

And after each time, there would be this look she would give me.  This look of absolute love.  One that was soft and so beautiful.

It took me longer than I care to admit to understand what was happening.

But eventually it became clear.  Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about.  It wasn’t something I could force, just something that would come about as a result of my giving.

In other words, it was in the practicality that I found the love I was looking for.

And what was even more interesting was that once I realized this on a conscious level, and started trying to find more opportunities to give, the more we both, almost intuitively, became lovey-dovey.

And now, as I’m a bit older and a bit more experienced with this relationship, I’ve finally come to realize something. Something I haven’t wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable.

I didn’t love my wife on that second date.

I didn’t love her when we got engaged.

I didn’t even love her when we got married.

Because love isn’t an emotion.  That fire I felt, it was simply that: emotional fire.  From the excitement of dating a woman I felt like I could marry.  But it wasn’t love.

No, love isn’t an emotion or even a noun.  It’s a verb.  Better defined as giving.  As putting someone else’s needs above your own.

Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married?  Because it wasn’t for her.  It was for me.  An emotion I had in my chest.

And even when I let it out of my chest, it wasn’t love.

Being sappy isn’t love.  Telling someone you love them doesn’t mean that you do.

And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile.  She knew, even if I didn’t, what love really is.

And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger.

From Disney movies, to my favorite shows like The Office, to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married.  An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever.

I can’t imagine a bigger lie.  And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long.  And how much I’m sure those messages are bouncing around in other people’s heads as well.

I think that might be a big part of the reason the divorce rate is so high in this country.  Imagine a whole nation of people constantly chasing the emotions they had when they were dating.  A country of people trying to live a Disney movie.

That’s a recipe for disastrous marriages; for a country with a 50 percent divorce rate;  for adultery (the classic attempt to turn the fire back on); for people who do stay together to simply live functional, loveless marriages.

It’s sad to see just how common all the above is.  How many people are in pain simply because they’ve been lied to.

Those people deserve better.  We all deserve better.

It’s time that we changed the conversation about love.  It’s time that we redefine it.

Because until we do, adultery will continue to be common.  Loveless marriages.  Divorce.

Living Disney movies in our minds, and tragedies in our lives.”

- Elad Nehorai

“When a woman has a kingdom heart, she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. She lives in the balance of passion and contentment. She learns to love well, give without regard to self, and forgive without hesitation. The woman with a kingdom heart may have a duffel bag full of possessions or enough treasures to fill a mansion, but she has learned to hold them with an open hand. Hold everything with open hands. I don’t think we are ever allowed to grab hold of anything or anyone as though they matter more than the kingdom of heaven. When you hold relationships with open hands, then people come in and out of your life as gifts of grace to be cherished and enjoyed, not objects to be owned and manipulated. And then when you hold your dreams with open hands, you get to watch God resurrect what seemed dead and multiply what seemed small.” —Angela Thomas (via heartbeatofatwentysomething)

(Source: thebambiisinthewoods, via heartbeatofatwentysomething)

Hillsong Live - Glorious Ruins (Acoustic)

1 Peter 3:4

“but let your adornment be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” —Tim Keller The Meaning of Marriage
A great reminder.

A great reminder.

I remember your faithfulness to Noah
I remember your faithfulness to Moses
I remember your faithfulness to David
I remember your faithfulness to me

A new season 

To know and love Jesus more.
To fall deeply in love with Him and to be so intimate with Him.
To learn how to better abide in Him.
To learn to lay everything down at His feet and leave it there.
To think of Jesus, to talk to Him and about Him throughout the day— to long for Jesus everyday.
To know who I am in Him.
To put off the comforts and pleasures of this world and to live radically for Him.
To trust Him with everything.
To be still and wait patiently on Him because His timing is perfect— not a second less, not a second more.
To be about His kingdom, and not my own.
To see things as He does and to treasure Him above all.

A new season 

To know and love Jesus more.

To fall deeply in love with Him and to be so intimate with Him.

To learn how to better abide in Him.

To learn to lay everything down at His feet and leave it there.

To think of Jesus, to talk to Him and about Him throughout the day— to long for Jesus everyday.

To know who I am in Him.

To put off the comforts and pleasures of this world and to live radically for Him.

To trust Him with everything.

To be still and wait patiently on Him because His timing is perfect— not a second less, not a second more.

To be about His kingdom, and not my own.

To see things as He does and to treasure Him above all.

“Go to a coffee shop. Sit by the bar with the glass windows and look out. Look at all the people running to catch a train. All the girls with one too many shopping bags. All the couples too in love to care. Then you’ll see it - a bit of yourself in everyone. And somehow, sitting alone in a coffee shop had never felt so good.” —note to self (via nonelikejesus)

(Source: c0ntemplations, via chelsieautumn)

He is my strength.

He is my strength.

two nights ago the Lord spoke.

athenagracee:

When the darkness comes, press into My heart.
It’s warm here. There is rest.
You’ll only find light and peace in Me.

I am here in this wilderness.
Can’t you feel Me?
Stop.
Just stop.
Listen to My voice.
I’m alluring and wooing you, My beloved.

The wind and waves surround me
And I’m tossed, Feel like I’m drowning
I am tired, I am weak
I need you here with me
'Cause I can feel the rising tide
But I don’t have the strength to fight
I feel clouded and confused
I need you here with me

In the chaos of the storm
I have drifted far; far away
But I call out your name
'Cause you are just a breath
A breath away

Then through the shadows
Your light appears
I’ve known you’re with me
But now it is clear
I can feel you
Jesus All around

There is nothing in this world
That will satisfy my soul like you do

Though the storm it rages
I won’t be moved
I won’t be shaken
I’m anchored in you
I can feel you
Jesus all around

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