What do we really want from marriage? Isn’t it more than those first thoughts that pop into our heads like sexual fulfillment, companionship, life purpose, a stable home, etc.?
I Need Love.
“What a person desires is unfailing love” (Proverbs 19:22 NIV).
Though other translations interpret this verse differently, it’s still true that what we need and want most is to be loved deeply.
Early in our marriage I wallowed in my sad feelings that my husband didn’t love me the way he should, the way I needed him to, or the way he had in the past.
In prayer I whined, “Why doesn’t Jerry take my word for it and give me what I ask for, whether he understands it or not? Why doesn’t he step outside his world and be with me in mine?”
I Need to Give Love.
Sometimes I think God answers my prayers by holding up a mirror. This was one of those times, and I knew my answer was to stop trying to change Jerry. I needed to relinquish my gripes and concern myself more with Jerry’s desires and being more in his world.
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14 NIV).
I made a list of the things I could remember him saying he wished for while we were courting and early in our marriage, and I took them to heart.
One thing he dreamed of was a wife and family who’d go camping and hunting with him. He wanted a wife who would enjoy shooting a gun and being in the wilderness.
It wasn’t a reach for me. My dad had taken our family camping and fishing many times. We loved being out in God’s creation. I’d been prepared for loving my husband this way.
Learning to shoot a gun was a real test, however, but Jerry patiently taught me till I brought home better target samples than his. It’s fun that I earned a new level of respect from our “shoot ’em up guy friends.”
Since I’m secure in God’s love I don’t have to worry about how I’m loved any more. It really is more blessed to give than receive, and my heart is happier when I’m content in God’s love and seeking to love others as I need to be loved.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis