I used to believe that true love was all about the romance. I remember the late nights coming home after a date and exclaiming to my roommates: “He paid for dinner, he opened the car door, and he even gave me his jacket when I was cold!” Its funny how fixated I was on things that…15 years later…have very little significance in my actual life and marriage.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s a really important place for romance and even for chivalry. I love when my husband opens the car door for me or brings me flowers home spontaneously.
But it’s important to remember that romance is not what creates a healthy marriage, rather, it is simply the overflow of a healthy marriage.
In marriage, you are marrying far more than a lover. You are marrying a coworker, a teammate, and a friend. God knew this when he told Adam that he was going to make a helper suitable for him. He could have used so many other words to describe Eve. He could have called her a lover, a trophy wife, or a beauty queen. I’m sure for Adam, there was nothing more attractive then when he laid his eyes on Eve. But in God’s mind, Eve’s role went far beyond the role of a lover…
A healthy marriage is so much more than romance.
Don’t give in to the culture of Hollywood that fills your brain with the lies that love is this explosive chemical reaction between two people. Real love is so much more than that. A love that lasts a lifetime is built on the give and take of the daily grind between two people, every day for as long as they live.
Yes, it also involves flowers, and date nights, and love notes, and romance…but it’s made up of SO much more. Far deeper than the fleeting pleasures of passion, is the unconditional love of sacrifice in the day to day. And that kind of love, real love, is costly.
I look at my life and the things that speak love to me are not just found in the ribbons and roses but in the role my husband has as my helper, my friend, and my partner. Real love is shown through the everyday actions that we exchange in our real everyday lives. In talking about this concept just the other day, my husband and I each made a list of how the other showed real love in just the past few weeks:
Cleaning up the dishes and scrubbing the pots and pans after dinner (God knows how much I hate those pots and pans).
Taking out the trash.
Letting me cry on his shoulder when I needed to vent about my day.
Watching the kids just so I could take a nap.
Praying with me about something that was burdening my heart.
Keeping me laughing with his jokes no matter what’s going on around us.
Taking an interest in all the details of my life- from what I had for lunch to my latest article on the blog.
Getting up in the middle of the night with a crying baby.
Having dinner ready- my wife’s an awesome cook!
Encouraging me when I feel down or discouraged.
Baking me five dozen cookies when I had to bring them in for work- forgot to mention- I gave her one day’s notice!
Dropping by to visit me for lunch.
Taking an active role in things I’m not good at (documenting the kids lives via pictures, responding to emails and phone calls, buying gifts and sending thank you cards, etc.)
Don’t let the fog of romance cloud your perspective of what it means to find true love.
Marry a lover- but marry so much more than that. Marry a coworker, a teammate, a partner, a helper and a friend.
**If you’re married, please share a comment with our readers: What has true love looked like for you this week?
**If you’re single, what are your thoughts on this idea of marriage?
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray for Your Love Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!