Gabe and I are doing this Fireproof small group study. If you haven't seen the movie you should go rent it right away. No matter what your marital status it is a fantastic movie that speaks volumes to any heart.
Anyway we are on week one of a 6 week study about marriage and it has me thinking about things. When a
person gets married he/she is excited, beyond hopeful, almost arrogant. There is nothing in the world too complicated to navigate. It is to me a beautiful sort of naivety. A kind which carries the couple through unbrushed teeth and makeup-less faces. Like a smooth cup of coffee it sweetly calms the metabolism of a new marriage with superficial triumphs - that feeling of a "special love" allows a person to easily forgive things which would under normal circumstances cause a loss of respect or affection.
A lot of people smirk at new, young couples who exhibit that sort of new love. A lot of people seem to enjoy being in on some disappointing secret: that the butterflies eventually fade and "special love" becomes something clawed for. But I love seeing people act that way. I enjoy watching two people completely infatuated. Though I know that a couple who "never fights" is not a sign of a healthy marriage and that sometimes affection isn't something I can easily give (even to the sweetest man alive), I also remember that I learned these things in my fairytale and that every person who tried to teach it to me with a smirk was of absolutely no help.
The truth is that God created us to feel those feelings of sublime romantic love for a little while so that we would begin the real journey. If we all knew the pain that comes with loving someone we would all stay at home on Saturdays and eventually the last lonely human would die. The truth is that sometimes love hurts. Sometimes the last thing on your mind is how to make another person happy. Sometimes you may even want out. But sometimes love surprises us doesn't it? Perhaps it subtly comforts us when our lives become too hard to handle alone. Or maybe it loudly proclaims that we have the capacity to be much more than we allow ourselves to believe. The truth is that while those initial hopes and dreams are lovely, the day-to-day commitment is absolutely breathtaking.
Marriage is truly wonderful. For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad it is an intricate and remarkable connection that has the potential to be a catalyst for innumerable lessons. Gabe and I have only been married 3 years and I cannot count the ways God has used this covenant to break us and mold us into the people He wants us to be. I don't think you have to go through a deployment to understand that (though we may have learned some lessons with a rougher edge because of it).
Whatever you believe about your own love my deepest desire is that you realize (and that I remember) that whatever state you are in is temporary. Whether you're in a spring time affair or a winter's dreary hollow it will give way to another season. Know that, but don't let it tarnish your enjoyment or allow you to avoid dealing with your issues. I wish words existed for me to explain how uniquely fulfilling even the trials can be. What Sleeping Beauty never tells you is that the prince and the princess disagreed on what kind of meat to buy or how to raise their royal children. The real fairytale is that they were committed to loving each other and that's what makes a happy ever after.
So... "love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for."