Love… is a Verb

Shortly after I started dating my now-husband, I blushingly handed him a folded-up paper and insisted he read it somewhere not in front of me.  He was a bit baffled and later admitted he thought it was something bad.  It wasn’t.  Not really.  It was a poem I had written and, blushing again, I’m going to share the very first part of it with you all:

 

I feel like I’m falling,

even as I soar.

Feel like crying

even as delight fills me.

I haven’t known this feeling,

this fluttering…

haven’t imagined that

I even could.

 

And on it goes…

 

ANYWAY.

 

Why am I sharing this?  I think it’s a good example of what “falling in love” feels like.  That whole giddy rush that surrounds the early part of a relationship is addictive.  I’m convinced there is no greater drug than that.  To be honest, it wasn’t really the most stable time of my life.  There were too many unanswered questions that early in a relationship.  But, oh gracious, was it ever a fun ride!  Each day was like a new present I couldn’t wait to tear open.  So much mystery!  So much discovery!  So much fluttery wonder!

 

And now, here we are, fifteen years later, with over ten years of marriage and three children under our belts.  Our relationship has grown and swelled and ebbed and flowed and bent and shifted and endured.  And, I’m just going to say it– I no longer go through my days “feeling like I’m falling even as I soar.”

 

There’s a real danger in believing that love is something that happens to you.  Or that it is some elevated state of wonder that fills you with unspeakable joy.  I think there’s a danger any time we relinquish control and responsibility.  Yes, love is something you feel.  Yes, love is something you experience.  Yes, love is something you (hopefully) receive.  But, perhaps most importantly and most often forgotten?  Love is something you do.

 

  • Love is what you do when you find yourself picking up his t-shirt from the floor… again.
  • Love is what you do when you’re whispering to each other in the dark about finance worries and making ends meet.
  • Love is what you do when he’s away on business and you’re running the household by yourself.
  • Love is what you do when he battles an addiction and you hold his hand as you wonder if you even know who he is anymore.
  • Love is what you do as you sob over the loss of a precious child.
  • Love is what you do when he forgets your anniversary but remembers you don’t like olives.
  • Love is what you do when he loses his job and his temper snaps and you fret over how you’ll make it.
  • Love is what you do when the person you love the most is also the one who knows how to hurt you the most.
  • And love?  Is a choice.

 

It is easy to love when you’re walking on the beach or laughing as a family or curled together in passion.  It takes precious little effort to murmur “I love you” through the sunny days.

 

Love is a verb.  It is an action.  It is sometimes the most challenging, draining, exasperating action you will take on.  But it is also, far and away, the most rewarding.  This call to “love one another”?  It’s not easy.  But it is vital.  And it is life-changing.  And, even in the trenches… it is a blessing.

 

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11 comments to Love… is a Verb

  • And how, pray tell, am I supposed to top THAT?!

  • In the last few years, I’ve learned just how much a verb Love is.
    I choose my husband. I choose our life together. I choose to support him, as a military spouse. I choose to stand beside him, even when our marriage is rough and rocky.
    I’ve learned that dirty dishes in the sink and leaving folded clothes in a laundry basket drive him absolutely crazy- so I do my best to put clothes away and load the dishwasher often. It’s a little act, but it really makes all the difference in our day to day.

    • YES… to all the choices you are asked to make and the conviction you have to stand by them even when it’s hard. Love doesn’t “just happen”. We put one foot in front of the other and make it happen. I love that you mentioned the value of those little acts… they really do make a difference!

  • I wrote my husband a poem when we first fell in love. It was pretty funny. Great post! Love really is a choice. For me, it’s been rewarding to choose to love my husband – he chooses to love me back. Plus, he chooses to work toward changing for the better (without me nagging him!). I’ve known women who have chosen to love husbands for years and years and their husbands still don’t reciprocate and it’s so hard for these women. Sometimes I don’t know what to say to them. Why did God give me a husband who chooses to love me back (with real, sacrificial love) when so many women don’t have husbands like that? I’ll always wonder, but only God knows.

    • That is true, Mandy, and I’ve known women (and men, for that matter) who seem to be in one-sided relationships. I guess the only thing we can really do is offer support and prayer. (And continue to be thankful for our own blessings, of course!)

  • I love that you say love is a choice. It breaks my heart when I hear “well, we tried but…” You choose. I also how you talk about love in the trenches. Truly that is when we need loved the most.

    • “Well, we tried but…”, “we just fell out of love”, “the spark just wasn’t there anymore”… they’re all excuses that make me SO sad. :( Love is a choice and it is work, but it is so very worth it!

  • Um the thing about picking up the shirt?! — yes. I need to hear that. It’s been hard for me to grasp that someone just doesn’t really pick after themselves. But then I think back to the time that it was all so new and exciting and how I gladly did it. Puts it’s a bit into perspective. It’s not really all that bad after I think about it.

  • Okay – that one about forgetting your anniversary but remembering you hate olives? Yep. That’s my man. SO very true!

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