Friday, April 30, 2010

A Choice

Childhood Love. As a child, I remember feeling the love from my parents, mostly springing up from something as basic as their smiles, the kind that made you feel like they loved you just the way you were.

Teenage love. Oh, how wonderful and yet, at the same time, how awful that love felt to me. A new crush on a boy often led to countless hours of daydreaming, my own heart racing uncontrollably when he would simply enter the classroom, and then the waiting for his much-coveted phone call. Sometimes the call came, sometimes it didn't. Eventually, the feelings faded, along with the immature love.

Marriage love. Now this is, without a doubt, the most challenging of all loves. I have learned to fully appreciate and put my trust in a saying that's stuck in my brain:

"Sometimes love is not a feeling. It's a choice."

These past few months, I have had to rely on the above statement more than I'd like to. There have been times when I'd question a lot of things about my relationship. Divorce was never an option, but I can understand how some people end up in that place. Sometimes, love is nothing more than a choice that we make in order to make the marriage work. Maybe a better way to say it is that there are times in everyone's marriage when we choose to keep loving, even though we don't feel like loving that person. Not one single bit. But we do it because we've made the choice to do it. There's not any other option.

In the long run, making the choice to love someone prevails over our immediate feelings. Feelings come and go, but choosing to love when it's the last thing we are feeling, takes much more effort. And patience. And time.

In the long run, love lasts. Feelings don't.

Love is sometimes a choice. A hard choice. There are times when choosing to love is so very difficult, almost impossible, but at the same time, when I choose to love, it turns out to be the right choice.

(This post is dedicated to Debby, whose post I just read reminded me of the saying above. Blessings to you and Tim, Debby).


Kelly said...

Such wise words....and ones I wish every couple headed into marriage would read!

I know divorce happens and I certainly won't cast any stones. After all, I am my husband's second wife and our older daughter (my step, but I raised her so I claim her!!) has been divorced (twice!!!). But..... I've tried to impress on all three of our kids that marriage is hard work!! Sure, it's filled with lots of ups, but there are always (and don't let anyone tell you otherwise) down times that have to be worked through.

I think now I will use your words in addition to mine. Making a 'choice' to love!

Thanks for sharing this!

Debby said...

Oh, gosh. I thought that I left a comment. Karen, I want to thank you for this. As we struggle to put it all back together, I think that a broken bone is stronger where it grows back together. Loving someone right through the hard times is the toughest challenge that we face, but it seems to me that once Tim and I get through this, we'll be the better for it, that while we may face other challenges, we will never be broken over this issue again.

ce_squared said...

Thanks so very much for the reminder, Karen. It's so easy to forget when times are challenging to make the right choice. Bless you!

Kerry ABOUT ME said...

Great message. Definately need repeating. Everytime my little girls watch a Disney Princess movie and talk about who they will marry and all that, I've started telling them this very thing. How marriage is hard. Self must be denied and others put first. I hope one day they will get the message. I am already prayng about who they will marry.