Committed But Not in Love
I am so glad that you decided to read this blog. I don't want you to assume anything from the title so please read on. As I have stated in my previous blogs, I write to express my thoughts about a certain topic, since this is a way that I actually distress. My intentions are not to judge or point fingers. My intentions are just to share my thoughts and experience. Having said that, I hope your intentions for reading this blog is not to find a juicy story but to find some hope and inspiration.
Ryan and I have been married for almost 4 years. We have an incredible story of how we met, got engaged, and married in one year. I know that it was ordained by God himself because we both saved ourselves for marriage and that is a rare breed in this day and time. Not to say that we were better than the people that didn't wait but what I am saying is that that decision came with a price just like any important decision that you make in life. I am not judging or pointing fingers at people that have not chosen the same path, but I am just sharing my experience. I know that it wasn't something that we did on our own. Throughout those years we were really focused on God and I truly believe that He was guiding us in our every step. We made a commitment and that was rewarded with a phenomenal story that we are so blessed to pass on to our children.
I still remember us dating even though at times it can seem like a faint memory. It feels like we've been together forever. I am so glad that we have a few things to bring back those memories and one of those things was our wedding video. I have probably watched it at least 5 times within these past 4 years. Even though I don't watch the whole video, I always go back to watching our vows for each other. I think every time I listened to them, I cried. My mind would think about how innocent and in love we were. We made that commitment really based on faith because even though you say all those nice things, you do not know what is ahead. You don't have any conditions set on your vows and that is why we say the words 'in sickness and in health, till death do us part.' When you are in that moment, you're most definitely not thinking about the bad times. You're on cloud 9. You're in love!
Don't get me wrong, I am a VERY committed person. I don't say things that I am not willing to stand by, but because I am more of an introvert, I can allow certain thoughts to thrive in my mind that should not be there. (I'm sure some of you can relate.) I've always thought that people struggled in marriage and got divorced because they allowed something huge to come between them. Now that I am married, I understand more how we can just move on with life and brush things aside and allow it to spiral out of control. Even though in some cases it may be a big thing that might not have been resolved before marriage, most of the time it is a tiny speck that keeps getting swept under the rug that causes major tension.
I have seen many families, especially in my Slavic culture, only stay together because of their kids. The husband and the wife have completely drifted apart and you can tell that they don't have that love for one another. I am not saying that you have to show affection in order for other people to see that they're in love because people can put on that show and it can look very deceiving. I am referring to the respect and the honor that those people loose for one another. Because you live with that person, it can be very easy to lose respect for them when they fail at something. The truth is that we can place an unrealistic expectation on a person that they are not able to live up to. Even though we may know that our spouse is not responsible for our happiness, we still come with that expectation that they are and get disappointed.
Even though it is VERY important to stay committed to one another through ups and downs, it is also important to love one another. I truly believe that love is the foundation of that commitment that you made in the beginning. Even though society has skewed what true love is by brainwashing people to think that it's for their own pleasure and good, we do have a perfect example of love that can only be achieved with the help of someone who has shown that true love to each and every one of us. To love is to respect and honor. To love is to forgive and bear all things. To love is to endure and not keep a record of wrongs. To love is not to be self-seeking or proud. To love is to be patient, kind, honest, trustworthy, hopeful. True love always perseveres and it NEVER fails. (1-Corinthians 13:4-8)
The truth is that we may fall in and out of love because we are only human. We can have so many different perspectives on what love is because we are all unique individuals with different backgrounds and upbringings. There is no other way to live up to that kind of a standard of love but through the grace and God's guidance every single day. We live in a world where we are surrounded by evil and at times we can experience the greatest highs and the lowest lows. None of us are excluded from them, but it is our perspective that can change everything. Sometimes you have to push through until the sun comes out. Life can be unfair and at times we may feel like we are taking a blow after a blow and we just cannot catch a break. Those are the times that you can refer back to your vows and the commitments that you made. They will remind you that you may not FEEL it, but you have to get yourself in the right frame of mind.
A feeling comes and goes. I don't always feel like working out or eating healthy, but I force myself because I know that it is good for me. If you base your commitment on a feeling, you will never succeed in that commitment. When you stay committed eventually that 'feel good' feeling will come back. You may not experience the results of your healthy eating or exercise right away, but you will if you continue to be persistent. The same is with your marriage. You experience different seasons in your marriage and therefore it may not always be the most comfortable to go through. As long as you have two willing people to grow, you will always come out stronger out of that season and will experience a greater love and respect for each other than you could've ever imagined.
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