I was scrolling Facebook recently and a link popped up to a celebrity wedding video. I clicked to view it and was instantly drawn in by the beautiful scenery, the sweet music playing, the dramatic speeches made by the happy couple’s friends and family, and the passionate, love-filled words spoken by the groom about his bride. He delighted in her. He lit up when he looked at her.
It was beautiful.
But while watching this video, this slimy, sneaky voice started trying to whisper over my heart,
“You aren’t loved that way.”
“No one looks at you that way.”
“Wouldn’t it be so nice to be loved like that?”
And, “THIS is what love should look like, feel like, and sound like”.
If I’m not careful, that voice would take root and begin to grow bitter seeds of discontentment in my heart.
So, I had to take to make a choice.
I had to take those thoughts captive unto the obedience of Christ.
To remind myself of TRUTH.
To choose to refuse to operate from a place of comparison and discontentment.
So here’s what I’m preaching to my soul in this moment…
I’m married to a good man who works hard to provide for his family. He works long hours and then comes home to coach our kid’s athletic teams. He’s the leader of my son’s scout troop, the teacher of our life group at church, and my defender when needed. He volunteers at church, serves on committees to improve the community, and shows up to parent nights at our kids’ school.
He takes out the trash, makes the coffee, helps me clean up when the stomach bug strikes the kids, mows the grass, and sometimes makes us pancakes.
He may not stand and give eloquent speeches about how much he loves me, but he shows me in his daily actions, moment by moment that he’s not just IN LOVE with me, he’s willing to BE love to me. That’s what matters. That’s what can withstand a lifetime of challenges and hurdles that may come against us.
And it’s beautiful.
And I wouldn’t trade it for all the eloquent speeches in the world.
In a world where we’re constantly shown images of picture-perfect weddings, romantic movies where there are no stressful situations, hear songs about falling in love and feeling butterflies, and all sorts of other rare occasions in life, I choose to be reminded of truth. I choose to set my gaze on what matters and to refuse to believe anything that tells me otherwise.
Love comes in many shapes and forms. In the beginning of a new relationship it’s that “I can’t live without you” type of emotion, the giddiness you feel when he reaches over to hold your hand, or the thrill you have when out together on a date. But later, it looks different. And it’s still beautiful.
I refuse today to let someone else’s magical moments be the measuring stick for my reality. Their highlight reel does not offer a fair comparison to my behind-the-scenes footage.
If you’re feeling a bit weary, too, be reminded, friend: Love doesn’t often look like it’s portrayed on social media, or in the movies, or on the radio. There are days when you won’t FEEL in love and that is okay because real love isn’t based on a FEELING.
It’s a choice.
A choice to love those around you, even when it’s hard. To show up and to offer what you have. To know that staying the course matters. To continually practice the example that Christ set for us— dying to self, serving one another, and staying really low and humble.
And the truth? No other person can ever or will ever fulfill or satisfy the need we have for being loved. Only God can. The second we start to place the burden of our happiness onto someone else’s shoulders is the moment you’ll realize they can never carry it. We must stop seeking our fulfillment in any other person or thing than in the very person of Christ.
And for those of you out there who may not be married or in a relationship, or may be in a relationship where you don’t feel loved or valued, be reminded of this:
YOU ARE LOVED by the maker of the Universe.
He loves you perfectly. He literally sings and dances over you.
He delights in you. He wants you, he cherishes you, and He loves you. Fully and completely.
Today, let’s shift our perspective to the One who IS love…who gives love…and who teaches us how to love.