I have the privilege of trying to help dozens and dozens of folks struggling in their marriage, relationships, families, and children each month. Every family needs help at some point and I am truly honored to jump in and try to help. But for the love of love, read and heed these thoughts on love in your most intimate relationships.
Over the course of the past 5 1/2 years, I’ve discovered that we seem to have the greatest struggle with the people that we love the most. It’s as if we find a safe haven in the ones we hold most dear and we save the worst parts of our fears, insecurities, and temperaments just for them. Oh, for the love of love! It’s true, Jenny hears, sees and experiences the very worst of me, and still loves me. I, in turn, get to see, hear and experience the worst of her fears, insecurities, and temperaments and love her even more. We are the perfectly proportioned opposites in almost every area…but this one thing we share with most of you; we save our worst for each other, just like you.
Here are three areas that we might could radically improve your relationships with your spouse, future spouse, or prospective spouse:
- Seek to learn (with great diligence) how your love wants and needs to be valued. You’ve heard me say this from the platform, and it is so true. The same emotion we feel when we are valued is the same emotion we experience when we feel loved. Why not have a conversation about “how would you like for me to tangibly convey my love (value) for you? There is no right or wrong to the question, but take heed! Once asked and answered, you must do something with the answer, or your life just got more complicated. Seek to convey value and experience the joy of love!
- Set aside the pettiness of trivial frustration. Nobody is perfect but watch this…they grow less and less perfect the longer and better you know them. To constantly work on your love’s imperfections sounds a lot like being lovingly cared for by being hit on the forehead by a hammer time, after time, after time. Set aside the little stuff and stay on the high road of knowing you are loved and are sharing your love. I know they can drive you crazy, but they are a gift from the Divine. Treat that gift carefully. The Holy Scriptures tell us that “marriage is to be held in high honor among all people.”
- Never stop dating! And before you tell me that you’re too tired, or you don’t have the money, STOP! We make time for what matters most. Now is a good time to take inventory of what matters most, to you. And money isn’t the key to romance, fun, and intimacy. Just start thinking of what you wanted to experience on your first date and DO IT! Make a sandwich and go watch little kids play ball. Get Wendy’s to go and watch the planes take off and land at your nearest airport. Go bowling or hiking. Go rent a Redbox DVD and watch past Oscar winners. This list could go on forever.
If you truly love your love, you’ll learn to value and love them well. The person that said marriage is 50%-50% was lying. It takes 200% every single day. When you’ve only got 60% in you, your love must bring 140%. But you must get to 200%. By trial and by error (often), I’ve learned that the following list makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the world.
- Stay gracious and polite. Speak and act in kindness and peace into your love.
- Seek to make things right, rather than trying to prove that you are right.
- When you serve your love consistently, they’ll repay you with more love. And if they don’t, seek help, something else is broken.
- Pray together. This is the single greatest piece of advice that I can offer you and your love. I believe that it is impossible to retain hidden sins, pettiness, ill-will or anger as you step into the Divine’s Throneroom – together.
- Stay playful, active and say I Love You at the end of every conversation. I know that sounds like silly advice, but I can tell you this without question – Your love has plenty of folks telling them what’s wrong with them. You can sacrificially serve them, forgive them, value them and encourage them when nobody else can. I can have 250 people me that they liked a sermon, but another 25,000 wouldn’t mean as much to me as Jenny saying, “A, that was really good.”
- Seek intimacy. Intimacy isn’t code for sex. It’s truth for keeping what the Divine gave you near and dear to your heart. It’s not a joke, grumble, or fodder for conversations with your friends. Intimacy is looking across the room and knowing what your love is thinking. It’s knowing that you will always speak for your love, never against them publically. It’s knowing that they always have your back and your best interest at heart. It’s like a force-field of protection that protects each other, allowing nothing or no other to take their place in your heart.
For the Love of Love…
Show Your Love that You are in Love with Your Love!