Bob and I sat around a table with other couples the other night, making small talk. One person asked the couple sitting to her left how they met. Everyone enjoyed the shared memory, and the smiles on the couple’s faces moved my heart. When it came to “our” story, people at the table looked surprised when they learned that Bob had asked me to marry him shortly after we met and looked even more surprised when I shared my response and thought process about making a lifelong decision. I, of course, said yes, but in my head, I thought, What the hell, let us see how long this will last.
I admit that is an outrageous thought, especially when people do not understand my life’s “back story,” this is not the time or place for it. But I will say that I was taught that being female meant not having value other than to be at the beck and call of the men in her life, to serve them(.)
The only understanding of “love” that I had was performance earned. I felt my life was disposable and allowed people to treat me that way. Once the person who received my love was tired of me, I was tossed aside without remorse.
The word “love” was used too often when I was growing up without experiencing the love described in the Bible.
With that said, one could understand my thought process when giving Bob my answer. However, to my surprise, Bob showed me the love described in 1 Corinthians 13.
Verse 1-8: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
I am not saying that I experienced these attributes every day of the thirty-six-plus years we have been married. Because Bob didn’t experience this love growing up either, it wasn’t modeled to him.
So, how can I explain our being together this long?
People placed in our lives who taught and showed us what love looks like and prayed for us. And most of all, the Word of God (Bible).
There are a lot of people in the world today who think that God is in Heaven, ready to harm, hit, and curse anyone who does not follow the “rules” or toss them out when they quit performing. This does not describe who God is. As I have explained before, GOD is LOVE.
Bob desired that our marriage would look different than the ones he watched his parents have. But it wasn’t until we both learned that God loves us (first) that our relationship started to grow.
A mentor once described it this way: Look at a triangle. Bob, imagine yourself on the bottom left corner, Georgia on the right, and love (God) on the top. By keeping your eye on love moving toward Him, what happens to the lines on the left and right? They come together.
If you can relate to my ‘back story’ and want to learn about love (God) as described in the Bible, pray for a mentor who knows GOD and is willing to invest in your life. Bob and I were (still are) blessed with such wonderful mentors.
With that said, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.