This past week we learned about the seasons of a marriage. There is the season of romance, reality and rebuilding. Personally I feel like my marriage can go through all these seasons in a single week! I think two of the most important lessons I have learned over the years are:
1. Love is not a feeling it is an action.
2. Love keeps no record of wrong.
Drs. Les & Leslie Parrot have done research on how couples argue. They have found that they are able to determine whether or not a couple will stay together based on how they handle conflict. I don’t have all the details to give you, but one of the most destructive things someone can do is keep a record of what you have done wrong so they can use it against you later. I have been totally guilty of this in my own marriage and only my husband could truly explain how hurtful and frustrating it is to have your own wife keep a log of every mistake you make. I can tell you that since I have really tried to stop doing this the way we argue has completely changed, and in fact we argue much less. When an issue arises we are able to focus on the issue and not something that happened last week or last year. After the issue is resolved we’re done. No hurt feelings, no going to separate parts of the house, no need to go to bed angry.
Love as an action is much more powerful than love as a feeling. Think about it…How many feelings do you go through in a day? I don’t want my husband to “feel” like loving me when it’s convenient. I want to “be” loved through his actions all the time. If you have children, the same is true. Children have the ability to take everything out of you, but the action of loving them couldn’t be more important. I tell my own kids that when they do certain things I don’t like. However, no matter what they do or have done it could never take away my love.
For those of you who may not be married or have children, you could be in a season with a parent or friend. I know I went through every season with my parents and fortunately now I’m in the season of romance with my mom. My love and respect for her is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. At this point in my life I find myself hanging on her every word.
As always Jesus is the greatest example. Jesus’ actions of love are never ending and He keeps no record of any sin in my life and reminds me I have no right to keep record of anyone else’s.
John 15:12-14 (NIV) My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.