When I was a teenager, my teeny-bopper heart longed to be married when I was eighteen. I know, looking back decades later, I see the folly of that heart’s desire. I equated “married love” with acceptance. I pictured a man (or man-boy at eighteen to twenty years old) embracing me for who I was, loving me with abandon and being mine forever and ever amen. Yes, you’re allowed to laugh, I was the epitome of youthful naivete.
I know people who married young and are still together. If I had married at eighteen, I probably would have been divorced by twenty-three. I grew and changed so much as a person in those five years. Though some of the waiting years between eighteen and when I met my husband were tough, I’m so glad now that I waited for God’s best.
When I married at twenty-eight years old, love looked much different. It doesn’t look like someone placing me at the center of his universe. Thank goodness! It doesn’t look like him always catering to my needs. I’ve discovered the joy of giving and receiving in my relationship with my honey. I am his second priority, right after his relationship with Jesus. There’s something indescribably wonderful about being cherished by my man. The commitment he lives out each day, the sacrifices he makes, the patience he extends when I’m writing like a mad woman–these are priceless gifts of love.
I love making sure our home is a place he wants to come home to. In our relationship, love also looks like: cuddling up together to watch a movie and munch on big bowl of popcorn. Or, giving him space and down-time for his introverted side to regroup after a difficult day. Love is knowing what his needs are and doing what I can to meet them, even when it’s inconvenient for me.
Love is giving and receiving.
Your turn: How did love look to you at eighteen? How do you describe love now?
Happy Valentine’s Day!