Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Loving When There is So Much to Lose

Marriage has its moments. Moments of pure, unadulterated contentment. Moments of deep and continual longing. Moments of unthinkable hurt, anger and frustration. Moments of just being sad.

There is so much to lose because is so much to gain. You place everything, practically, in the hands of someone else and tell them, “Take care of these things please.” The challenge is you give them your heart without much of an instruction manual.

There are times in my life when I've had things click, those ah-ha! moments that you feel so stupid for not figuring it out earlier (it was so simple!) but at the same time, so proud that you have attained this new-found perspective.  I like to share those things with you.  I hope that by sharing some of my blood, sweat and tears, you can avoid the same.

Here is one of the moments that someone did that for me.  I heard this on the Air1 radio station and its been gnawing at me ever since.  The host, Brant, was telling about a recent argument with his wife in which she doubted him.  Then he said this:

I think that [it's] pretty normal with guys. Even if we’re pretty secure, we’re always about a half inch away from feeling like we’re being disrespected. [...] With my wife, her opinion matters so much. [...] So, I think for her, we’re always a half inch away from her feeling like I don’t love her, even though I’ve built up decades of “I’m not going anyway,” “I’m a faithful husband,” “We’re best friends.” 
- Brant Hansen, Air1
I've been thinking about it so much because I feel like that's where my husband and I are.  To a T.  Even though we have (almost) a decade built up behind us, he is still half an inch away from feeling like I don't trust him, I don't respect him.  And I'm half an inch away from feeling like he doesn't love me.

Its crazy.  It's stupid.  At least it seems that way on paper.  Why on earth would I feel unloved?  He's proven it to me over and over and over again.  But its true. Sometimes I feel that way.

Just because this feeling is "normal", does that make it okay?  It feels like such a selfish thing to say, "I don't feel loved.  Love me more.  And love me the way I want to be loved."  I'm not sure if I have a good answer to that question.  I'm still asking it myself.

Its the same thing with God.  I live as if I'm afraid that I can lose God's love even though I know that God says His love is unconditional.  Still, I try over and over to earn it, afraid that if I'm not "good enough" God might not love me anymore.

It's like Brant said: I'm scared because it matters to me.

It matters so much to me that while, in my mind, I am confident, my heart is so scared to lose it.  Because it is that important to me.  Now is that okay?  I'm not sure of the answer to that question either.

Maybe that's where faith and love intersect.  Maybe its our insecurities, our ability to be broken, our openness to pain -- maybe its all of those things that give love its power and its authenticity.  If we weren't able to be hurt, if we weren't in danger of disappointment, our love might not be the same.  There is so much to gain because there is so much to lose.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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Misconceptions of Marriage
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'Til Death Do Us Part
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