If you read “Miracles Happen” in November, then you’re already familiar with my grandparents. My grandparents are amazing. Because of them, I will never ever doubt that true love actually does exist- even in the twenty-first century.
Their marriage isn’t perfect. What marriage is? They lived separately for awhile when my parents were in their twenties. Papa would go by Grandma’s on his run every morning. He never gave up on her. This was right before they diagnosed her depression.
But they survived that. Fifty years in, and they still love each other. And in this, they not only taught me that true love exists, but that love like that takes work.
Too many couples today get married because they’re in love, which is a great start, but they’re missing a crucial part: loving each other. For those of you that are confused, being in love and loving someone are very different things. Being in love is passionate love- love that dwindles after the honeymoon phase is over. But loving someone- companionate love- is the true foundation of any relationship that is going to stand a long-term chance.
It is loving someone that allows for the true commitment of marriage until death do us part. Commitment. Marriage is a commitment. And commitments take work. From both parties. And this is what I see in my grandparents. Do they still have passionate love? Sure! Good relationships do retain passionate love beyond the honeymoon phase, but in order to make it fifty years together, you’ve got to have more fuel than, “Hey, you turn me on!” You have to love the person enough to put in the work when things are easy and even more so when things are hard.
Loving someone means putting his needs before your own.
And when in doubt:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
This is how to love someone. Not how to fall in love.
And it is through love like this that we truly see the face of God. We truly see how God the Father loves us and how he intended for us to love one another.