Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Passion and Guts

The question was posed to a group of couples -
"What did you do differently to care for each other,
back when you were first in love than you do now?"

(The question bothered me because it presupposes that you have fallen out of love over time.
Some people do.  But, I wish we wouldn't act like this is a given.)

Regardless of that, it is a valid question to pose -
"What kind of things keep the passion burning?"

Am I trying to hide my nervous giggles?

What comes to mind is guts.  It takes a lot of guts.
Love is risky.  Love requires us exposing ourselves.
It takes guts to put your heart on the line for someone else.

Going back to the early days for us,
Scott had to have a lot of guts to win my heart.
I put up a little wall and my body language screamed, "no!"
He still stood close by.
I trampled his courage down with a cold shoulder.

Then God started to open my eyes to who this guy really was.
And I started falling in love with him.
(And beating myself up for being such a jerk.)
Now it was my turn.
I had to humble myself and expose myself & my remorse.
Now I had to have the courage to take a posture of openness.
(Like what Ruth did with Boaz by laying at his feet, maybe?
I didn't do that one.  I did bring him cough drops when he was sick though...)

Again, Scott had to take a chance, hoping he had read the signs correctly.
This time in a bigger way.
He showed me all his cards and told me really how he felt about me.
He laid open his heart to me.

He could have walked away with more disappointments.
Nothing was sure in this.
Except the fact that we would not be in love now,
if there was no risk taken.

I wonder if for love to stay strong,
we have to accept the fact that it will require guts,
throughout the life of that love.
We've got to have the courage to expose ourselves to the other, again and again.
We have to be willing to risk being hurt or disappointed.

Maybe it is right to say we shouldn't get too comfortable in our marriages.
The very foundation of actively loving is moving out of our comfort, right?
Don't wait to love your spouse until it seems like it is totally safe.
Just throw yourself out there.  Get some guts.
Waiting for safety means your going to miss out on the passion.

What do you think?  Do you think this is off?

(I have to admit I am hesitant about hitting "publish".
I am not advocating subjecting ourselves to people who are proven
to be unsafe and abusive.)


Mrs. Schwager said...

I don't like the question you referred to at the beginning either! Am I the only one who feels that we are way better at loving each other now than we were then? I think you are correct in saying that it takes a will to expose yourself in order to keep love growing. How easy it is to drift away in your heart and not maintain a "special" relationship with the the one you chose!

Erin said...

Thank you Meris! I agree that knowing how to love each other has VASTLY improved over the years of our marriage.
The book I recently read, from which this question came, was written toward the belief that the majority (often seeming to imply all) of couples had a decline in love & care over the years, and a huge decline post children.

Stef said...

The question bothers me too since it isn't the case for us, but I sadly know a ton of couples it would be an awesome question for; reminding them of all the ways and reasons they "fell in love" (I hate that term).
I have to be careful when I read books on marriage because I come at it from a very different perspective and background than so many of my friends.

That said, I definitely have days where it does my heart good to go read my "love" journal I wrote during our courtship/engagement days and remember the sweet memories Jason and I share. The different pace in life right now sometimes over shadows the fact that we're deeply in love and gonna be dating each other until we die. Because I'm self centered, I definitely need the reminders of all the reasons he still tickles my stomach ;-)

Erin said...

Thanks Stef!
I do understand that it is reality that many couples do fall out of love. I just don't like when we act like that is a given. It makes things feel kinda hopeless, you know?
None of us have the same story or the same background. But, truthfully, most of us deal with very similar interpersonal issues & sin conflict.
I know my marriage, or your marriage, is not what everyone else has experienced. But, I don't think that leaves us unable to relate. We aren't in happy marriages due to lucky happenstances. It is something worked for.
Like you said, you do have to remind yourself about the passion you feel deep down. It doesn't just bubble at the service without you stoking it up there, right?

Stephanie said...

Your second paragraph in parentheses is my favorite.

Tim & I are definitely more in love today than ever before. Our love is different in some ways, of course...but it's much, much stronger.