Marriage Beyond the Butterflies and Roses

Loving Beyond Feelings

I recently had a dear friend ask me to write about marriage after the roses and butterflies stage. You know, the days when you’re not in love with love but the quirky personality you call husband?

Honestly, this has been a huge learning experience for me. Over the course of our (almost) two years of marriage I’ve discovered that I am a very selfish person: I love to be loved. And without knowing it, I can allow my love to be based on how well Dalton is loving me and how much I’m enjoying his love.

(Ew, can that really be me? it is these moments when I cry out with Jeremiah, “Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?“)

Thankfully, my Abba Daddy does not let me remain in my selfish, inherent love for love. He knows my deceitful, selfish heart and He loves me through it. He challenges my heart to learn to love people not because of how their love makes me feel but for who they are in themselves.

Loving people past the feelings of satisfaction they give us is something we as Christians must let Christ work in our hearts.

Our homes, marriages, churches and relationships depend on it.

The best way for me to describe loving someone simply for who they are is to tell you a little bit of how my husband loves me.

(Because he loves me with a tremendous, Christ-like love every day and I am honored and changed because of it’s consistent presence.)

  • He loves me for me and not for my physical prowess, beauty, smarts or talents.

I am not always beautiful, genius or elegant. In fact, my personality is the kind which takes more interest in the quirky, dry and unique then in the traditional, stunning ideas of beauty. I have zits, fluff and get tongue-tied far more then I like. 😉

But Dalton loves me anyways. He delights in who I am regardless of the state of my hair or the number the scale shows. He’s one of those people who would love me, care for me and treasure me even if I were burned tremendously and lost my limbs. His love is not shallow.

  • He loves me when I’m sinning

Dalton loves me even during the moments where I am full of sin. I’ve argued, gossiped, complained, belittled, disrespected and dishonored this man. Yet, despite it all, he loves me even while I’m sinning. His love is not conditional.

  • He loves me when I am destructive

There are times when I let my insecurities, anxieties, fears and past experiences make me destructive. Have you ever fallen into a pit of despair resulting in a hatred of everything you are and represent? Me too.

The best thing is when you have a person who sees you in all your misery yet stands by your side. These people remind you of who you are in Christ and what He has accomplished in and through you. Dalton is this person; even when I’m destructive he stands by me loving me. His love is not afraid to stand up to my bullies.

  • He loves me into forgiveness

Because Dalton loves me he loves me into forgiveness. As Dalton’s sister-in-Christ he does not turn a blind eye to my sin but confronts, lovingly, the sin I stumble in. His love is not condemning but life-giving. He points me to my Savior’s promise of forgiveness, sanctification and grace. His love is heaven-minded.

Loving someone past the roses and butterflies stage requires you to face their faults, ugliness, sinful nature and destructiveness and love them in spite of it.

Loving someone means loving them for who they are and not for how they make you feel.

Because if my husband based his love for me on how I made him feel he’d have left a long time ago.

Honestly, this is the kind of love we should exhibit for all our relationships. It can be challenging to love our friends, coworkers, church family for who they are and not for how they make us feel but it is necessary.

Let’s be a people who are known for enlarged hearts and love the person and not love itself.

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

5 thoughts on “Marriage Beyond the Butterflies and Roses

  1. *wide-eyed serious face* So Frannie, I must tell you that, based on the criteria in this post, I can finally lay my life’s big question to rest once and for all: Yes, Virginia, I am genuinely in love with Josh Groban.

    *grin*

    Seriously, though, this was a lovely post and very thought-provoking. I read a gut-wrenching post last week that was coming from a very different place than your post, but interestingly, they echo each other beautifully – love is an action, a choice, a decision to sacrificially give for the good of the other person. And not to give because giving to them makes you feel good – a very delicate distinction that sometimes is hard to differentiate. At least, in my life it is … 😛

    God has brought some people into my life this year who have been teaching me many of these lessons, because they are in very vulnerable places and desperately need my love, but can’t give me very much in return. It has been hard for my pampered middle-class heart to get used to this, but I’m learning so much about sacrificing and giving for their sake, not mine. I still have a lot of work to do on my grudging, easily-wearied attitude, but with God’s help I am getting there. 🙂

    Thank you for continuing to share your sweet spirit with us, Frannie – I do believe you about the zits and self-destructive despair in your little soul, but I also firmly believe that there is much more good and love in you than you may realize or give yourself credit for. Thank you for your openness and genuine care for my and other sisters’ souls. We love you so much!!

    Have a wonderful day and keep enjoying your cozy winter with your beloved!!

    Hugs and steamy mocha to you,
    Vicki

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *