Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What is love?

This is the best description I know: “Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.  It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him always expect the best of him and always stand your ground in defending him.” I Corinthians 13:4-7 Living Bible
Now answer these questions to find out how loving you are toward your partner. How do I show love to my partner? Do I say “I love you?” Am I romantic toward my partner? Am I affectionate with him or her? Do I tell my partner the things I appreciate about him or her? Do I give compliments often?

What does my partner want me to do that I’m not doing? Do I respect my partner’s viewpoint when we talk? Do I listen without giving advice or becoming defensive? Am I willing to go to the places my partner wants to go; to have fun or recreation on his or her terms? Do I put my partner first?

Do I expect my partner to mind read; to know when I’m upset, to know when I want affection?  (Hint: No one can do this.) Do I ask for hugs when I need them?  Do I accept the love he or she does offer me?
Have I forgiven my partner for the ways he or she has hurt me? Have I asked for forgiveness for the ways I’ve hurt my partner? Am I holding any grudges against my partner?
These are difficult and important issues. We want love and affection; we want acceptance and understanding from our mates. Most of us don’t realize that this takes time, effort and a giving of oneself.

A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  John 13:34 NIV

Blessings, Dottie

Monday, October 10, 2011

Does Romance Have to End?

Romantic love is amazing, exciting and thrilling. It also is not “true love.” Romance novels, movies, and television feed our unrealistic expectations of marriage. Our culture programs women to expect a prince on a white horse. A prince will overwhelm her with love. Can any man live up to this image? Men also have expectations that are impossible to meet.
Experts who have studied marriage say that "romantic love" lasts about two years. The problem is we are brought up to expect it to last forever—and with no effort. During courtship the relationship is fresh and new, and both partners put effort into pleasing and romancing each other. Emotions are high and intense.

After marriage it’s natural to drop the courtship behaviors and to fall into a routine. In addition, as time goes on we learn about each other's flaws and idiosyncrasies and we find out how we differ. These are often things we overlook in the heat and passion of romance.
We also are faced with the day-to-day realities of paying the rent, pursuing careers, washing the dishes, doing the laundry and so forth. Some couples are also faced with crises - illness, job problems, financial troubles—which add to their stresses. With all these pressures there is no way marriage can be as carefree and as intensely passionate as a romance.
However, there are advantages to being married. The comfort and security of a committed relationship is something most of us deeply crave. Although a couple may have less to say to each other than they did before marriage, there can be a quiet companionship between them as they carry on their lives together.
There are some things you can do to rekindle the romance in your marriage. Talk over with your partner the concerns you have. Talk about ways to make the marriage more romantic. Perhaps you need to set aside a special time each evening to talk personally, not about bills or work, but about your feelings, thoughts and dreams. A close relationship takes work. If you make the effort to be romantic, to be more involved the relationship will change. Praying together is one way to connect deeply and personally.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10 NLT

Blessings, Dottie