Mommy, what is love?
My darling boys,
The one thing you must be certain of is what love really is. And what love isn’t.
We are told that wives should submit to their husbands, and the husbands should love their brides as Christ loves the church. Don’t let the world twist that for you. That doesn’t mean your wife should check her brain at the door, that she is of less value than you, or that you should dominate her. Those are the things love isn’t. And it isn’t a happily ever after thing like in all those silly sweet movies we love to snuggle up and watch together. It is so much bigger than all that.
Now that that’s cleared up, I want to share with you what love is.
Love is living. It grows and either flourishes with nurturing and care or withers and dies with neglect. Love depends on our choices, not our feelings. Feelings are fleeting, and they are fickle. If you do not tenderly care for love, giving it water and light, keeping the weeds pulled, and pruning when necessary, then love becomes sick. It becomes weak. A good steward will notice and take the steps needed, though they may be difficult and time consuming, to bring love back to life. But if you don’t notice, or choose not to continue caring for love, then it will wither and die. And when love dies, everyone gets hurt. So when God trusts you with real, true, beautiful love, cherish it.
Love doesn’t look the same for all of us. Don’t be surprised when your love is different from the love Daddy and I share. Your love will have it’s own story. As long as God is at the center, then it will be beautiful.
Love is holding each other up. Rarely are both people strong at the same time. Love takes those burdens and shares in them. Lightens them. Love reminds us there is hope.
Love is sticking it out when things get tough. Love doesn’t give up. Love chooses to do the hard work, to not walk away, to not listen to all the voices saying “it won’t work, just give up”. Love does counseling, love does service, love holds tight.
Love is being there together to witness the miracle of life, a gift given and received in love. Love is staying strong through the pain, love is heart-swelling-so-big it doesn’t fit in mommy’s chest anymore. Love makes eyes leak tears of joy.
Love is taking turns cleaning up after sick children. Love is changing dirty diapers. Love is washing three hundred kazillion loads of baby-reflux laundry. Love is taking an extra turn sometimes, just because.
Love is leaving notes on nightstands, in bags, in lunches to tell someone they are awesome and they are loved. Love is in the little everyday things we do and say.
Love is choosing to speak words of life and kindness or to be quiet. Love is saying “forgive me” when ugly words come out.
Love is late night pillow talk. Love is hard but worth it budget talk. Love is talk about the future. Love is talk about the past. Love is sometimes sitting quietly holding the steady but aging hands you know will always treasure holding you.
Love is choosing faithfulness. Love is choosing truth. Love is trusting. Love is selfless, though it takes some time and lots of pruning to get there. Love never fails. Never.
Love wipes the tears of loss for friends, grandparents, jobs. Love quiets the anger and fear. Love stomps out the past mistakes. Love covers us all in grace.
Love grows old together. Love whispers laugh lines, age spots, and wrinkles are beautiful. Love is the most beautiful piece of art you will ever experience.
Love heals the cracks and scars. Love is present now, but hopeful for front porch rocking chairs and grandchildren playing at wrinkled old-people feet. Love is our foundation, our framework, and what adorns the walls of our lives.
My darling boys, without love we have nothing.
And that is the truth about love. Love is an action. Love is a choice. I pray love is always the choice you make.
You are so very loved,