We were all in the car together one afternoon when out of nowhere came a profound question from my five-year-old son.
“Daddy,” he began in a very serious tone, “How did you know who was going to be your girl?”
“My girl? Do you mean did I choose who was going to be my daughter?”
“No Daddy! Your girl, like Mommy, how did you choose Mommy?”
“Oh you mean my wife?”
“Yes. Daddy how did you make the DECISION (he over pronounces each syllable of this very big word) of who was going to be YOUR girl?”
Out of the mouths of babes. Key word in this whole conversation is DECISION. Even as my son over pronounced each syllable it was like a gong ringing loudly. It wasn’t an accident. A spur of the moment, flippant or a ‘well got nothing better to do’ attitude. It was a thoughtful, prayer soaked, intentional DECISION.
LOVE is more then a feeling. LOVE is a decision. Often times, especially after kid #2 arrives and you’re awake much more then you ever sleep, it can become a daily decision. BUT a decision none-the-less.
With the arrival of Valentines Day, and the neon lights are flashing about LOVE – I feel that this is the time to share with you all something that I have been wrestling with for some time now. Something that is very difficult for me to say. Even more so to write down.
Recently we were challenged by my Pastor to fast for two weeks and focus on our relationship with God. I began this challenge with hopefulness in my heart because it had been quite sometime that I have felt like I was simply drudging through life. You know the feeling.
Wake up . Shower . Eat . Feed kids . Herd troops out the door (hopefully on time for once) Work all day . Go home . Make dinner . Fight kids to EAT said dinner . Play (or at the very least snuggle) with kids . Put kids to bed . Go up and down stairs a hundred times or more before they finally sleep . Clean up . Get ready for the next day . Fall in bed exhausted AAAANNNNNDDDDD start all over again oh so very early the next day ……..
So here I was, (making a DECISION) to carve out time to get back into a place of daily intimate communion with my Heavenly Father. Believing that through this time He would rejuvenate me, fill me unearthly strength and energy and help me conquer this life I’ve been living. What happened instead – the very first time I sat in quiet asking God to speak to my heart and encourage me He said just a few words. Words that at first I didn’t really understand. He said, “You need to deal with your attitude towards your husband.”
Attitude? What Attitude? I’m fine. We’re fine. There’s nothing wrong in my marriage.
As the days went on and I continued to respond to God’s voice with a dismissive attitude, almost without my wishing for it to be, my eyes began to open. I started to recognize this deep, overpowering anger that I held. And it was all directed towards my husband.
- I was angry because he kept me up all night snoring
- I was angry because he put the water on to boil BEFORE putting the potatoes in the pot
- I was angry because he didn’t shovel the steps well enough
- I was angry because he spoke to me in a negative tone
- I was angry because he never remembers anything
- I was angry because he, because he, because he….
I WAS ANGRY.
And with an almost audible sound I heard a clamp seal around my heart and I knew that somewhere along the way I had
allowed made a DECISION for anger to take root in my heart toward my husband and it was eating away at me.
I felt in my heart that God was asking me to talk to him about it. And I couldn’t bring myself to admit to this wonderful man that I didn’t like him very much anymore. At all. That I was filled to the brim with anger all directed at him. That most days every.single.thing he did made me feel – well feelings I simply didn’t want him to know.
I was ashamed. Deeply.
It took an absolute eternity to get the words out. I struggled to meet his eyes.
My husband listened to my messy, imperfect words. He showed grace when words stumbled over words and I struggled to express to him what I had been feeling. When I finally finished – he never once uttered a word of negativity towards me. He didn’t judge me, or grow angry. In that moment my wonderful husband looked at me and although I could see hurt in his eyes, hurt I had caused, I also saw love. Not the love that will be splayed across movie screens, but a love born of a DECISION. A decision he made 12 years ago. A decision to choose me to be his girl. Even in my failings. Even when I spear his heart. He chooses me. He made the decision. And I am his girl.
This is love.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This Valentines Day – I encourage you – don’t look for the twitter and romance.
Don’t look for the fleeting emotions. Do not compare your love with that seen in the movies or cheap books.
Look to Christ’s example. That while we were yet sinners. Completely unworthy of HIS love HE willingly and with absolute certainty made the DECISION to choose us. To
give His life for us. To LOVE us.
Some time ago I made a decision to focus on the negative aspects of my husband. I made a decision to think on these things, to hold each real or perceived slight close – and more importantly I made a decision to shut down and not share my heart and my feelings.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
I am thankful that God got my attention. Love is a choice. A choice we need to make daily. If we allow our mind and heart to dwell on the negative – it will poison our relationships. We will begin to feel anger replace love.
WISDOM FROM A CHILD
The other night Jude and I were working on his valentines cards for school. I was tired and getting frustrated with how long it was taking him to painstakingly write out every friends name and his own.
At one point, in exasperation I muttered something to the effect of, “AHH why are we doing these cards!”
My son, in complete sweetness replies, “But Mommy its Valentines Day and on Valentines DAy you should always give something to the one that you love!”