I’ve often found myself reflecting on our wedding day lesson about love courtesy of Corinthians…
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I can’t help but think that, as we approach our tenth year of marriage (ya, I don’t know how that happened so quickly either), our love hasn’t been willingly patient and isn’t always kind. True, I’ve been forced to be patient at the hands of a deployment and countless TDYs, and at times, kindness isn’t exactly what I’m channeling when someone waltzes (read: drags) through the door 4 hours later than we’d discussed on the phone 4.25 hours before.
I’ve been envious of what I perceive as my partner’s freedom- freedom to sneak out of our home mid-school-morning-rush, or to travel the world sans entourage, or the freedom to close an office door, or to tell his co-workers to go jump in a lake.
I’ve been rude. And angry. And held a grudge or two or three. I’ve slammed doors and hung up phones and rolled my eyes. And I’ve delighted in my fair share of the I-told-you-so-dance (he never did use that Ab-Rocker…just like I said).
There have been times when I haven’t guarded his feelings, too absorbed in my own feelings and thoughts. There were moments I should’ve guarded my tongue and engaged my brain. I’ve lashed out at the person I love the most because he had the nerve to be there. And I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times where I thought that maybe, just maybe, love just wasn’t enough.
Because it isn’t.
It will never be enough just to love someone.
It took me a long time to figure out what the heck that sappy overused verse really means. Corinthians isn’t about the warm and fuzzy love you feel or butterflies in your tummy. It’s about the reality of making love work.
You know what is patient and kind and humbling?
When life gets hard and you wanna walk away, but you stay and fight. When you’re mad at the world and your place in it and you find a way to let it go so that you can lift up your partner. When your partner is lost and you go grab a flashlight and hold her hand and walk together until she finds her way.
Love is work. Plain and simple.