falling in love is . . .

according to the dictionary, when used as a noun, “love” means “an intense feeling of deep connection.” as humans, we are called to love. we are to love our spouses, neighbors, our coworkers, our family, our friends, our classmates, our enemies, and ourselves. we are to love all.

when thinking about what the word “love” meant to me, i recognized that what i thought it to mean would most likely not be what someone else would say. the other day i asked someone without warning, “what does love mean to you?” their response was “wow. that is a loaded question. love is a hard thing to define.” another person said, “a strong feeling for somebody. it is being gentle, kind, and not jealous.” both are absolutely correct.

this world offers SO much to love. it is easy to love Target, sleeping in, candy, vacations, watching movies, being with family, etc. etc. – the list goes on and on. but when asked “what do you love?”, is your spouse one of the first things to come to mind?

while it’s okay to recognize that it may not, it is not okay to be content with that. Andy Stanley once said in his sermon series Staying In Love:

“falling in love is easy. staying in love requires a plan.”

i play those words over and over in my head often as if Andy were whispering them directly in my ear.

“falling in love is easy. staying in love requires a plan.”

photo by Moments of Grace Photography

i agree that falling in love is easy. i have also found that staying in love can be difficult. choosing to love on a daily basis can be hard. to love someone means laying down your own selfish wants and desires. to love someone requires you to listen rather than speak. to love someone means giving to them instead of giving to yourself. to love someone means to sacrifice when necessary. to love someone means to do what is best for them even when it may not be best for you. to love someone means to forgive and forget. to love someone means to stop letting the little annoyances bother you. to love someone means to help them grow and learn through their faults. to love someone means to simply love unconditionally.

in moments where you find loving your spouse or significant other difficult, i hope you choose to remember how you want to be loved. in situations where i feel annoyed or frustrated with brian (yes . . . it happens to us, too) i make myself take a moment to listen to my heart. i remind myself that i am only annoyed because i am choosing to be annoyed. he did nothing wrong. i am the one allowing myself to feel annoyed. no one person ever wants to annoy others or be annoying. once i recognize my faulty feelings, i am more likely to love whatever it was that was annoying me prior. this can help with most feelings, including frustration and anger.

while the verse may be thought of as overused to some, i see 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 to be of forever importance. it is a constant reminder of what “love is.”

“love is patient and kind.

love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

it does not demand its own way.

it is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

it does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

when the next time you find yourself having a hard time loving someone, especially your spouse, repeat these verses over and over while working through the anger, hurt, frustration, and annoyance you are experiencing. choose to love them even when it’s hard. choose to love them even when you’re not feeling loved. choose to love unconditionally.

love always, kylie

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