UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – “MESSY LOVE”
The most beautiful love can be expressed right in the middle of our biggest messes. I found that out again last night as I was on my knees unleashing a violent stomach flu. Each time I got out of bed to “unleash” more supper; my husband was at my side holding my forehead and rubbing my back. Every trip out of bed he walked with me, steadied and comforted me. Today I am still in bed (with my computer) but he is out conducting a funeral on one hour’s sleep. That’s love.
It’s easy to be in love when the lights are turned down low, candles burning, roses sitting in the middle of the table and Josh Groban or Leonard Cohen crooning love songs in the background. Love comes easy when everything is going our way, everyone is in a good mood and there is enough money in the bank account. I wish life was that way every day but it’s not. Let’s face it; life is messy. It’s hard to gaze into each other’s eyes when children are screaming and fighting. When the renovations around the house are just about driving you crazy, one of you looses your job or you actually heard the Doctor say the word “Cancer.” But if you determine to persevere through these messes; you are actually on your way to building the strongest, most beautiful foundation of love.
Through the turbulent, testing times ahead we need to do what the bible says: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2 NIV italics mine). “Bearing” means to: To carry something. Like picking up rocks and carrying them for another person. How can we do that in our marriage when life gets messy?
1. Be there. Just show up! This may seem like a radical statement for a marriage where you are together every day. But some people pull away emotionally and physically when times get tough.
2. Be humble and gentle. When things don’t go our way, people have a tendency to get testy, irritated, frustrated and even angry. There is nothing sweeter than receiving a gentle touch or a kind and humble word when we feel weak and helpless.
3. Be patient. This is not the time to accuse or blame. One way or another this messy season shall end some day.
4. Bear with one another in love. Pick up the other’s person’s burden any way you can. Sometimes the best way we can do this is just to listen actively. This means to try to understand the message that is being sent. It means suspending our own judgment, beliefs and assumptions, and avoiding other mental activities to completely focus on the words and body language of the person speaking.
5. Pray for one another. Don’t make this your last option; make it your first response. When we pray; we transcend our messes and tap into the resources God has available to us.
Then when Valentine’s Day come around, your love will look and feel different. You won’t feel compelled to spend those exorbitant prices on roses or sit in an overcrowded restaurant. Whatever you do for your spouse or give him/her on Valentine’s Day, will be out of an overflow of our love, and not through guilt of trying to win her/her love. Love is built in the messes of life. Really. I know.