Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forever and Ever Love

I remember when I was dating Joel how I couldn’t wait to be able to do his laundry, to cook his meals, to keep his house.   I waited impatiently to care for him exclusively.  I wanted to meet his every need.  I just knew in my heart I would never tire of taking care of him.

Oh how I wish that were the end of the story, but I do not live a fairytale life.

Some where along the line the novelty wore off.  The thrill of keeping my own house became more of a chore.  I didn’t get immense pleasure out of folding my husband’s laundry.  I impatiently served. I selfishly viewed it as tedious work. I lost sight of the importance of my work.  I buried the joy of serving. I put my own desires before loving him. I soon talked myself into the believing it was just easier to disconnect rather than put so much effort into my marriage. Married life was not what I had envisioned. I felt alone most of the time and I slowly almost imperceptibly began to dislike doing anything extra for my husband.

As a young girl, I foolishly thought this would never happen to me.  I thought I would forever and ever love taking care of my husband.  I thought I would always find it exciting and fulfilling.  And because I was naïve and thought love should be all bubbles and rainbows, I quit trying to find the joy in serving my beloved husband. I

Giving in to selfishness was the worst thing I could ever do.  My love began to fade.  I saw all the annoyances in his behavior.  I desired less and less to do that little extra for him.  It became a sense of duty.  Gone was the joy, the happiness, the thrill I had once felt for caring for my soul mate. 

Complacency and selfishness can be such killers.  Killers of love.  Killers of decency.  Killers of giving.  Killers of commitment.  Killers of grace.

Eventually, God brought me to my senses. He shook me awake. He showed and is still showing me my tendency to be quite selfish.

Praise God, He is a God of Love.  He restored my love.

He is guiding me.  He is helping me to find the joy in serving my husband.  He is reminding me that it is a privilege to fold laundry for my husband. He is showing me ways to go farther, to do more, to meet the needs Joel has.  He is giving me a deeper, stronger, amazing love for my man.

The thrill, the electricity, the love, the desire to meet Joel’s every need is back.  As I look to God to guide me, He gently takes my heart in his hands and infuses into it the love that seeped out.  He is showing me that He has created me to serve.  I have learned I cannot put myself first and be truly happy.  To experience joy I must give of myself.  To know my forever and ever love I must give my heart to serving even when it is difficult.

 

“….serve one another in love.”  Ephesians 5:13

“….if anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides…” I Peter 4:10

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! What joy is found when we "forget" our selfish desires to truly come alongside our family. I feel like its a continual journey and constant effort in remembering what God has called me to do.

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  2. What a great and beautiful post. Thanks for sharing it!

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  3. this is a great and vulnerable testimony that
    will encourage many young women. how
    quickly our joy fades into tedious work, but
    the good news is that He restores our first
    love when we repent.

    way to go, wife!

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  4. What a fabulous, heartfelt and HONEST post. Loved every word! It is amazing how when we are abiding in God, because He IS love, it just starts flowing out of us again and dropping on others. Just cause He is that awesome!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this Jenn. It was convicting and encouraging to me.

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  6. Jenn~ Looking back...I think we can all say the same thing! At least any of us with some years behind us.

    The hardest thing that I ever did as a wife was let my expectations go and choose to love my husband unconditionally.

    Ironically...it was the best thing I ever did as a wife...

    Thankfully, God Does restore us.
    Thank you for sharing your heart, sweet friend.
    Love, Kristin

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  7. A lovely little story Jenn, we all go through seasons in our life and especially in our marriages, you and Joel are blessed.

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  8. Jenn, Thank you for your honesty! This same thing happened to me! Glad God gets ahold of His children.

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  9. What a beautiful post. Thank you for your honesty.

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  10. Amen Jenn! I am blessed to have a husband that gives to me unselfishly and recently being home I continued taking advantage of that. Then one day I decided to stop. I made the bed, fixed up our room, opened the windows to air it out, cleaned the living room, did the laundry and had dinner ready. His face glowed with happiness. I have come to realize that right now where God wants me is to love and take care of my family and especially my husband, but you are right, when we begin to feel it is a chore or we are entitled to love for nothing in return...we make ourselves and our spouses unhappy. Awesome post today, you are blessed!

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  11. a perfect post for every engaged couple to read. :)

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  12. Wonderful post my friend! How rich love becomes when the LORD works the work in us...HE is so Good to us, isn't HE?? If only more of us would listen to the wisdom of women who have been on the road longer when we were newlyweds! Would we have paid attention?? How gracious the LORD is to teach us these things in spite of ourselves. :)

    Thank you for sharing your heart Jenn...it is lovely.

    Love,
    Camille

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  13. Isn't this an honest post. I love it. I think this happens to everyone, or maybe I feel that way because it's happened in my marriage. Neither of us had ever lived with anyone of the opposite sex before we were married, so there was definitely a lot of the same anticipation there that you talk about - the most mundane things were exciting - dusting the house together, chopping vegetables. :o) But you're right, it does slip away at some point. You definitely have to work to keep that feeling from drifting off. That verse from 1 Peter is perfect. Thanks for writing such an honest and open post. :o)

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  14. AMEN! I really needed this today! Thank you so much for this post. I am trying to get back on track with this myself.

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  15. AMEN!

    "To experience joy I must give of myself"

    This is what rings so true. Because a woman may have all the happiness in the world in a marriage where she is not serving her husband, but there is no JOY.

    And joy runs deeper than happiness. At the end of the day it is the woman who gives of herself endlessly to her husband and children that experiences true JOY.

    And the good news is that if we treat our men like Kings...you can be sure we will be their Queen:)

    GREAT POST!

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