One of my favorite songs about marriage is
Sara Groves', Loving a Person.
She starts by saying:
"Loving a person just the way they are, it's no small thingIt takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change, sometimes we're waiting
We need grace either way"
We will all say that unconditional love is an incredible gift to give someone and something amazing to receive. To be loved for who you are, not what you do or can give. This is true love.
But this takes time. We change, things change, we learn, we grow.
This is why marriage is a life long covenant - to learn to love.
As Sara says in the chorus, as hard as it is - there's a beauty to seeing things through to the other side:
"Hold on to meI'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through"
The other side of what you might ask?
"There's a lot of pain in reaching out and tryingIt's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free"
She speaks plainly of the pain we feel when we are vulnerable. Reaching out when we want to retreat.
Trying again when we want to give up.
Then she kicks me in the gutt - am I choosing love or pride? They can't occupy the same space.
If I hold on to being right, to getting my way, to my hurt - I'm holding on to pride.
I can choose to humble myself and love.
It's easy to find the faults of others - to focus on the offense, but can we choose love?
"If we go looking for offenseWe're going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We're going to find it"
And she knows, she's able to admit that loving her isn't easy either.
"Loving me just the way I am, it's no small thingIt takes some time, It takes some time,
It takes some time, It takes some time"
Maybe you aren't in this harder place. I'd encourage you to be honest and open to the pain you do feel in being vulnerable. If we can learn to express it when things are better, we can move into an authentic relationship easier.
If you are in a harder place, know that you are not alone. Know that it's expected.
It's a part of how we learn to love.
It takes some time...