I do! I do laundry.  I do dinner.  I do bills.  I do floors.  I do windows.  I do runs to baseball, hockey, dance, school.  I even do toilets.  With all the “we have to do this and that” in life we can easily lose sight of the reason we walked down the aisle of a church, beach, meadow or hotel ballroom. What did we ‘I do’ for?jen-duane-renew-vows

Some get married because it’s the next “logical” step in their relationship.  Some get married because they don’t want to be known as the crazy cat lady.  And yet others get married for children, financial stability, or to be independent from their parents, but hopefully the majority say ‘I do’ for LOVE!

Love.  What is it?  Is it a feeling, an emotion?  Maybe you remember talking to your folks about it and they gave you the “you’ll just know” speech.  Do you get butterflies when that certain person walks into the room? Do you get tongue tied when you try to speak and just trip all over your words?  Do you not hear a word they are saying and just feel like you’re floating as you look into their eyes?  Maybe.  Maybe it does start there.  After all if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone I hope that you’re excited, you have a VAVAVOOM, SHAZAAM kind of moment.  However with time, familiarity, and watching them eat a sloppy joe that will subside.

Subside.  Why, how, when does it subside?  Was it the sloppy joe?  I was married for 14 years before my bride passed away and there is no way that I’ll pretend that our marriage was perfect and always full of passion.  There were moments that we were going through the motions.  It is, in my opinion, relatively easy for the other “I dos” of life to interfere with the main reason you said “I do.”  Why did you? LOVE.

LOVE IS… patient.

… able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

LOVE IS… kind.

… having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.

LOVE IS NOT… jealous

… feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.

LOVE DOES NOT… brag

…say in a boastful manner.

LOVE IS NOT… arrogant

…having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.

LOVE IS NOT… unbecoming

…a person’s attitude or behavior) not fitting or appropriate; unseemly.

LOVE IS NOT… selfish

… lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

LOVE IS NOT… provoked

…stimulate or incite (someone) to do or feel something, especially by arousing anger in them.

LOVE DOES NOT… Keep count of wrong doing

… score of who has been right and who has been wrong.

LOVE… bears all things

… fully support.

LOVE… believes all things

… accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.

LOVE… hopes all things

… a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

LOVE… endures all things

… suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently.

I can honestly say that I didn’t know what love was.  Rabbit! I’m going to chase a proverbial rabbit.  Come with me.  Remember the song by Foreigner from 1984?  Some of the lyrics are:

I want to know what love is, I want you to show me
I want to feel what love is, I know you can show me

I’m gonna take a little time, a little time to look around me
I’ve got nowhere left to hide, it looks like love has finally found me

I’ve got nowhere left to hide.  What a powerful line and brings us back from rabbit chasing.  I didn’t know what true love was. I loved spending time with her.  I loved talking to her.  I loved kissing her.  But the challenges of life refined me, us.  And when there was nowhere else to hide; no agenda to hide behind, no selfish motive, when it became about “enduring all things,” my love became resolute. Steven Covey talks about true synergy and describes it as mutual vulnerability; a willingness to let down our guard for a greater cause.  It took me, seemingly, years to be able to talk about my feelings, insecurities, weaknesses.  And when I stopped hiding, and began truly communicating, it seemed there was nothing we couldn’t overcome.

There is so much more I want to say but I’ll conclude with some ‘I dos’ to do:

Do… communicate (listen and vulnerably speak).

Do… mop the floor.

Do… clean the toilet.

Do… kiss her on the forehead with NO agenda.

Do… hold her hand.

Do… put down your phone and listen.

Do… look intently into her eyes and tell her “I did, I still do and always will.”

Men… love your wives well.  You are so truly blessed – please see it.  I would give anything to have the chance to take her to treatment, touch her hand, look into her eyes, wipe her mouth after she was sick, and hear her voice.

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:14