Love is NOT a feeling.
Sure, you get those butterflies in the stomach, can’t eat, can’t sleep kind of feelings when you fall in love. But those feelings don’t last forever. If you want a love that lasts, then you can’t rely on feelings alone. Feelings are fleeting. One minute you can’t imagine your life without your husband, the next minute you’re tripping over his socks that he left in the middle of the floor, wishing you were a million miles away on a beach… BY YOURSELF!
So, how do we define love then, if love is not a feeling?
First we need to understand that love is not about me. Love is about the person who we are in a relationship with. It’s about committing yourself to that person, even when your feelings don’t line up. I remember my dad asking me this question when I was engaged to my husband.
He asked me “do you like him”?
I thought to myself… “what do you mean? Of course I like him! I love him! I’m going to marry him!”
My dad went on to explain that the feelings I had at that moment will not always be there. There would be days where I didn’t “feel” like I loved him. There would be days where I questioned my decision to marry him. When those feelings fade, what will your life look like? Will you be miserable? Or do you genuinely enjoy each other?
I don’t remember how long after we were married, but sometime during our first year of marriage I forgot what it was like to feel in love. Does that mean I didn’t love my husband? No! It means that life got busy, and we stopped putting each other first. We became more comfortable with each other and those feelings began to fade.
I remembered that conversation with my dad and what he taught me. He taught me that love is a choice. It’s a choice that is made every day, in every decision we make. It’s a decision that says “I choose you today, even if I don’t feel like it”. When you make that choice every day, the feelings eventually follow suit. And let me tell you from experience, when those feelings come back for the second…. third… fourth time, it gets better and better!
Is it easy?
Is it worth it?
So how do you choose love? What does that look like?
When it comes down to it, this is much easier said than done. But here are a few ways that you can choose to love your husband.
Put yourself in his shoes.
Think about how you would feel if you were in his situation. Ask yourself, would you want to be treated the way you are treating him? Are you being fair in your expectations?
Do something kind for your husband.
Make him lunch. Pick his socks up off the floor. Wash his car. Aim to do one kind gesture this week, no matter how big or small.
Learn his love language.
If you haven’t read the book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman, I encourage you to read it. The author talks about how we all speak a different love language, and he explains how we can learn our spouses love language so that they feel loved.
When you purchase The 5 Love Languages on your Kindle, you can get the FREE Kindle Reading App so you can read it on almost any device on the go!
Cultivate an atmosphere of love.
Even if you don’t “feel” like it, choose one of these acts of love to help bring back those feelings.
- Greet him with a hug when he gets home from work.
- Kiss him for at least 10 seconds. (This is something we did that was a game changer for our love life… maybe I’ll write more about that another time).
- Hold his hand in public.
- Have a candle light dinner at home (after the kids are in bed).
- Play a game together
- Talk about how you met, and when you first said “I love you”.
Pray for your husband
Nobody knows your husband the way God does. When we pray, God hears us, and He answers. Even if you don’t know what to pray, the Lord knows your heart, and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.
Marriage is not easy, and that’s precisely the reason why we can’t rely on our feelings. We must make the choice daily to cultivate love in our marriage.
What are some ways that you cultivate love in your marriage?