An amazing truth has recently settled around my heart like a warm blanket.
It took twenty one years for me to see it clearly. I don’t know if it dawned on me all at once, or just sort of slowly made it’s way in.
People show love for others in their own way. They really, really do.
Maybe you already know this. I could be just slow. But I thought, since it took me a while to figure it out, it might be helpful for someone else to hear how life changing this can be. It literally can be the difference between bitterness and contentment, strife and peace, shooting daggers across the room from your eyes, and a joyful smile.
I spent many years feeling a bit down or discouraged that Scott didn’t vocalize his feelings towards me very often. It just rarely happened. I would long for his words of affection and love. They were far and few between. I often found myself feeling angry towards him and tried in vain to drag it out of him. I compared our marriage to others, and felt like we were not as in love as the couples I observed. I was foolish to think everyone else spouting love sonnets to each other. (Facebook is a rotten measuring stick, by the way.)
As the years continued to unfold, I withdrew. I let anger set in and I began to feel more and more resentful.
He knew how much I wanted and needed him to express love, and he honestly tried to communicate better, it just was a mountain that loomed over him. He truly struggled with it so much. It was as if I was expecting something that felt impossible to him. Words come easily to me, so I could NOT understand what the big hang up was.
And then, thankfully, God saw fit to open my eyes. The expectations I had in place, were clouding my vision. My husband had been telling me for years that he did, in fact love me. I just wasn’t recognizing it. I wasn’t being selfish, I just really did not see it. You see, Scott is more of a verb than a noun. He is always on the go, doing a million things at once. He’s a mover. A shaker. And once I stepped back and really started watching him in action, I realized he was telling me in his own way.
- He brings me books he thinks I will enjoy.
- He helps around the house.
- He is helpful and kind to all of my family members, without complaint.
- He gives me two pieces of gum because he knows I love that.
- He brings me my favorite salad from the Co-op.
- He makes sure I have all I need for homeschooling our kids.
- He brings me the inkiest pens he can find at the store.
- He opens and shuts the chicken door.
- He has learned to cuddle at night, even though he sleeps better with space.
- He goes to Wal-Mart and Costco for me.
He recently arranged a fun weekend to Vancouver, B.C. for Chinese New Year. We had lots of fun staying in a hotel and watching the parade. I told him how great it would be if we could find an Indian food store that carried this certain box of spices I needed. He was on it. He looked up the nearest places and off we went. We spent the next three hours searching high and low in every single Indian store we could find. He was on a mission. The kids started to tire out and give up. They were getting hungry and thirsty. I stood there on the street corner, watching my husband zigzag up and down the street, searching for Chicken Tikka BBQ. He was relentless. I thought to myself, “Man, he must love me a lot.”
I was able to see my husband actively loving me. I just needed to take the five precious boxes of spices and say, “I love you too.”
Love isn’t just an emotion or some sentiment wrapped up in pretty words to make us feel good for the moment. It’s active. It’s intentional. I hope my husband and I will feel more peace between us as we allow each other to love each other using the gifts God gave us.
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