One of the things I talk a lot about here is that love is a choice. It is more than a feeling. It is not just a grand romantic gesture. It is not always easy. But it is always worth it. Always.
But, really, what does that mean? What does love look like in the day-to-day?
It is solo parenting all day and then at bedtime and then in the middle of the night because your spouse is traveling.
It is leaving the last bite of a shared dessert for your spouse (even if she’s already had more than you, because you aren’t counting how many bites she’s had).
It is the making of a peanut butter sandwich before he leaves for work because it’s a long commute and he didn’t have time to eat breakfast before he left.
It is forwarding a link to a funny video that you know will make him laugh and break up his work day.
It is the late-night run to the store to buy cream for her morning cup of coffee even though you were ready to go to bed. Because you know that milk just doesn’t cut it when it comes to her first cup of coffee.
It is the surprise Mounds bar because you know it’s her favorite chocolate treat and it’s been an exceptionally challenging day.
It is taking over at 4:00 a.m. when a child wakes with a nightmare, then can’t get back to sleep and your spouse has had too little sleep to think straight and besides you were getting up to chase your dream anyway.
It is getting up at 4:00 a.m. most mornings to chase a dream and create a different life for your family.
It is believing in your spouse even when others don’t.
It is holding your tongue when you are tempted to nag your spouse about something trivial (the almost-empty milk carton put back in the fridge, the socks left in the dining room, not refilling the water pitcher; those small things that get under your skin).
It is insisting that your spouse take the day to herself so that she can rest, renew and write.
It is forgiving and not keeping a record of wrongs (in other words, you don’t bring up past hurts or mistakes in the midst of an argument as a means of hurting your spouse).
It is listening to your spouse and not interrupting.
It is acknowledging that you were wrong and asking for forgiveness.
It is not always having to be right or having to prove your point because your spouse is more important to you than being right.
It is praying for your spouse’s specific needs.
It is an encouraging email that you send your spouse that tells him how much you believe in him and how much you appreciate him.
It is letting your spouse pick the movie on date night.
It is sitting across the table from your spouse, sharing an appetizer and a glass of wine and talking about your shared dreams.
It is cooking your spouse’s favorite breakfast foods on the weekend.
It is sitting in front of a cozy fire together, each of you reading a book and simply being in each others’ company.
It is a hundred little things that you do each day.
It is getting up each day and asking God, what can I do today for my spouse that will bring you glory?
It is being willing to serve your spouse in love.
Marriage requires effort. Loving your spouse is a choice. Relationships cannot grow or flourish unless we are willing to nurture them by the hundred little things we do for each other each day.
What would you add to this list? What does love look like in the day-to-day with your spouse?