It’s so easy to think you’re ready for love when things go your way. It’s easy to say “I’m in love,” when the person you love:
Does everything you want, when you want, and how you want.
So easy, right?
But what happens when you love someone who has a different opinion? A different way of doing things? A different lifestyle altogether?
Yes, it can happen.
When I met my husband, there was an instant connection. He said he knew he would marry me the first time he saw me up close. I didn’t get the revelation until after a month or so of dating.
We finished each other’s sentences. Our long-term goals matched. We had one kid each and we both wanted more. Our methods of handling finances were similar. He checked every item on my list. Sounded perfect on paper.
After marriage, I learned a lot about him that I didn’t realize during the dating phase. I wish we had dated longer but I’ve heard so many people say that you don’t really know a person until you live with them.
Nothing could be truer.
All the things I liked about him started really working my nerves. For instance, he likes soft jazz music and I thought that was so mature and sophisticated before marriage.
After marriage, jazz started working my last nerve! Do I really have to hear it all day every day? My preference is R&B or gospel. At least there are words to sing along with the music.
Yet, I continue to listen to jazz.
Some little things could have turned into big things had I not been ready for this journey. And some little things did turn into big things because somedays I didn’t feel like being on the journey.
My husband and I also disagree on movies, hobbies, and food. Who knew spaghetti and meatballs would raise more issues?
Yet here we are 18 years later, blissful as ever. Not because we agree on everything, but because we agree to disagree. We respect each other’s right to choose. We’ve learned to negotiate and compromise on any and all differences.
True love is accepting and respecting the people around you. Even if you don’t agree with their choices. True love is selflessly giving in to someone else’s desires for the sake of peace. True love is continuing to show patience and kindness even though they’re not perfect.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails. I Corinthians 13
Sometimes we treat love as if it’s a noun. But it’s not.
Love is a verb: an action word that requires you to do something to enforce it.
I can go to school and get a degree and a license to be a doctor, but if I never examine patients, write prescriptions, or perform surgical procedures, am I really a doctor, or am I just enjoying the benefits and prestige that come with the title? What good is it to have the title if I never practice what I’ve learned?
Just as an apple tree produces apples, true love produces actions or behaviors that are consistent with the definition of love.
Nowadays, my tolerance for jazz has now grown to the point where I even go to the concerts. It makes for a good nap but at least I’m there. When the lights are down nobody knows. All because my husband, whom I happen to love, loves jazz.
He has also developed tolerance for the stuff that I like.
If you’ve been married longer than three days, you know what I’m talking about. Hopefully you’ve practiced this by now and you know all the cute stuff that you first loved is not so cute anymore. Now you’re practicing true love, not cute love.
If you’re single, you probably think that all of this is easy stuff. We should just be happy to have a man and get over his quirks. I used to think that way too. But, the more you accept the reality that you won’t love everything about your future husband, the more you’re ready for true love.