Thursday, May 27, 2010

on love

last night i went on a walk with my bff from college and she shared that one of our mutual friends is separated from her husband and likely getting a divorce. semi-shocked, i felt an incredible sadness come over me. not so sad that she was going through a divorce, but just sad for the loneliness, heartache and judgement she must feel.

said friend asked me in college if she should marry the guy. i remember a distinct conversation we had about how "beau" treated her so much better than previous boyfriends, that he was a Christian, that he didn't party hard or do other things that are frowned upon in conservative circles, etc. however, i'm not sure that she truly loved him.

at our small Christian college, it was easy to get caught up in what people "did not do" or their past. i remember thinking how badly i wanted to marry a virgin. it was a huge plus to me that james never had sex with anyone, but looking back, the impact of that prerequisite was so small on our future. if i was not crazy about james and did not love who he was as a person, his positive past would only have been a temporary plus.

on top of people's track records, i watched many friends fall for the way guys treated them. the phrase "find a guy who pursues you" played like a broken record across campus. i cringe every time i hear about a guy pursuing a girl. while there is something to be said about a guy treating a girl with respect and working hard to make her feel like a lady, i am a much bigger believer in finding a guy who is your best friend rather than one who pursues you. the pursuing has to be a two way street. if it is only the guy pursuing, it is easy to get caught up in the way the he treats you instead of his character and to settle for someone who treats you well instead of someone you cannot wait to spend more time with.

if you think about why we love God, it is not because of the nice things he does for us or even because he pursues us (the devil pursues us, too), but it is solely because of who God is. yes, people's actions stem from character, but our love must be rooted in a deep passion for the other person. when i see lists of reasons why people love their spouse, i am always encouraged when the reasons read "he is..." instead of "he does..." so tonight, i give you ten reasons why i love my sweet husband:

1. he is an incredible father (staying home with an infant 5 days a week is not easy!)
2. he is fun-loving and positive.
3. he is patient (when parker pulls the books off of the shelf for the 10th time in one day)
4. he is giving, especially of his time (his friend needed help driving buses for the boys and girls club this week and he did not hesistate to volunteer)
5. he is a servant (he cleaned for 3 hours the other day!)
6. he is loyal (to family and friends)
7. he is humble (he absolutely hates when his teammates keep track of their personal points in basketball games, ha)
8. he is competitive (i could not live with someone who is not)
9. he is an extrovert (we are both energized from hanging out with friends)
10. he is a great teacher (it is so sweet to come home and see what he and parker have been working on that day)
(bonus: he is happy/content/joyful. i think it is so important for people to take responsibility for

their own personal happiness and not depend on others to affirm their worth).
love you baby! there is no one in the world i would rather spend every day of my life with besides you :).


Stefanie said...

What a great post! I couldn't agree more & I think your hubby is very lucky to have a wife who is more concerned w/ who he is than w/ what he does!

Katie said...

So sweet. And I love your take on the whole "pursuit". I needed a guy who could stand up to me, not a guy who chased me!!

Erin said...

I think this is really insightful! All throughout our teen years I feel like a lot of the relationship advise we were given was really misguided. Making lists of characteristics we wanted in a man such as "listens to christian music" and "is taller than me" and "buys me flowers", really set me back in my understanding of relationships. We were told "not to settle", which now seems like code for "expect the impossible" and "be judgmental of others". It's like we were set up to fail.

There's a lot to be said for marrying some one who has similar preferences and life goals, but making lists overlooks the heart of love! In the year we were engaged I can not tell you how many clergy/rabbis/random people told my husband and I that our marriage would not work, and even if it did, our kids would be screwed up. It's not just the stubborn part of me that's glad we didn't listen... or compromise who we are by converting. The fact that we have different religious traditions was/is sometimes a challenge, but I love my husband so much and can't imagine life without him.

I would say we should write a book about dating for teens, but I honestly think that the last thing kids need is one more person telling them HOW to fall in love.

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

I know lots of people going through a divorce and it is so sad.

Rona's Home Page said...

What a beautiful couple! And your little one is so cute!

What a terrific list. You and your family have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend!