Link to Hello Darling on your blog!

<a href="http://www.mops.org/mom" title="Hello, Darling"><img src="http://www.mops.org/images/blog-share.jpg" alt="MOPS International blog" /></a>

Thanks for subscribing!

Get ready for a weekly digest of great stuff from our site!

Don't worry, if you get tired of us you can unsubscribe any time from your email preferences.

Whoops, we couldn't subscribe you

We have to know your email to subscribe you, so check that you're logged in or enter it in the box below.

If you don't have account yet, it is super easy to make one!

Whoops, we didn't quite catch that.

We don't allow anonymous comments, so check that you're logged in.

If you don't have account yet, it is super easy to make one!

Choosing Love

by Liz

honestly

December 12, 2013

Choosing Love

“A successful marriage requires falling in love, many times, always with the same person.”  
~ Mignon McLaughlin

Can I ask you something personal? How many times have you fallen in love? Once? Twice? One thousand times and counting? A little more than fifteen years into marriage, I’ve learned that once the newness wears off, love is not a hapless romantic fall into love, rather it is a powerful conscious choice to fall back in.

I know what you might be thinking, “Whoa! Stop trampling on the romance, Negative Nelly!” But I’m proud of the choices I’ve made in my marriage (most of them, anyway), and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I remember the shock I felt as a newlywed when I discovered that the man I married – who was a handsome sixteen year old boy who could do-no-wrong when I first laid eyes on him – had the capacity to disappoint me. To perplex me. To annoy me, even. If somebody told us two crazy kids (we were 18 and 20 at the time) that marriage wasn’t all rainbows, sunshine and romance once you signed the license, we sure weren’t listening. We tussled over everything from dishes (who should do them) to bills (how would we pay them) to having children (what do you mean you might not want them???) For the record, we’ve got two now. So I guess you could say we both won that battle.

Several months ago I read an article in my hometown newspaper about Thelma Allen, a longtime resident of Williston, ND. Thelma turned 106 years old this past July, and among the details the article shared about her life was that she’d been married. Three times. To the same man. I had to read that paragraph a couple of times to let it sink in. A friend at the nursing home commented on Thelma’s speed on the exercise bike a few years earlier at the age of 99, but what stuck with me was that this couple had mended their broken relationship not once but twice. Sure it sounds a little zany, but I love that they chose each other again – and then again. Despite their differences, they chose to love. 

Hello, Darling, talk about keeping at it.

So when my best friend and love of my life – the boy who caught my eye way back when – does the chores wrong (or not at all), pays a bill late, or deals with the children a little differently than I would have, I remember the choice we made back then, and I make the choice to love him still today. And when he cooks dinner, cleans the litter box without being asked (I love this man!) or plans a romantic evening for just the two of us? The choice to fall in love with him all over again is an easy one.

What was the last situation when you had to choose love?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Related topics: Liz, Marriage, Relationships

Share your thoughts

My husband has had 5 relatively major surgeries in the time we've been married. Dealing with a man recovering from surgery and on pain medication is a test of faith and will! I have to choose love every time.

Reply

Wow! That is a whole lotta mama responsibility to take on overnight! Kudos to you.

Reply

I choose love when I married a man who had five children and I became a step mom.

Reply

I chose love this summer when my little girl was stillborn at 24 weeks. I could've been angry or hateful, but I made a conscious effort to choose love. I focused on the loves of my life, my husband and my children. And I chose love, for me and for them.

Reply

Erika, thank you for sharing your story of love. You have obviously been s tremendous example for your children. Bless you!

Reply

With all the snow/snow days is say it was half way through yesterday where I wanted to ring my 3 year old's neck for waking up his brother from a nap for the umpteenth time while bouncing off the walls. While I always love my children, some days are not always easy, especially when running on 3 hours of sleep.

Reply

Girlfriend I keep waiting for the day that I really really LIKE my children! A lot of tolerance goes into mothering in the early stages. Moms of older kids tell me it gets easier. Hang in there! And take a NAP!!

Reply

It wasn't the last time but it was the hardest time. My husband came home and confessed the worst possible thing to me...he had brought infidelity into our marriage. I was broken and clung to God to get me through the whirlwind. I chose to love him even through all the pain (it wasn't an easy road). Today, God has restored our marriage beyond what I could have ever imagined!!

Reply

Emily, I'm SO thankful the LORD restored your marriage to even better than before-PTL! :) Mine didn't end that way. After wandering in many different ways throughout our marriage, it was my husband's 2 1/2 yr. affair that ultimately ended our 13 yr marriage & broke apart our family which includes 3 little boys. HOWEVER, God told me to wait patiently, & to CHOSE forgiveness & unconditional love; I CHOSE to be obedient. Upon waiting 14 mos for my husband to heal spiritually & for our marriage to be restored, he confessed he'd been unfaithful again during my time of waiting. However, I continued to CHOSE love & forgiveness & pray for restoration. 3 mos later, he said he didn't love me & didn't want to be married. Our divorce was final a month ago. Even so, I continue to CHOSE love & forgiveness for him, & God has blessed me with peace, joy, comfort & strength! Erin P.S. Great books: Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken by Cindy Beall & Fo

Reply

Erin, you are certainly a faithful and obedient woman, that is clear. I also suffered a divorce several years ago. I leaned heavily on God during that time and prayed for God to help me forgive. I knew many women who had become bitter after divorces and I didn't want that and ultimately I knew that if God could forgive me for many times I wronged Him, then I should at least be able to forgive my former husband for walking out on me. I have now been remarried for over 10 years now and have two wonderful children. So I feel that I have still been blessed by God. Life is about choices and when we choose to Love God and obey Him.... we are often blessed beyond belief. :)

Reply

I ask God daily to fill me with His love so I may love my husband daily.

Reply

I keep a notebook where I write all the things I love about my husband. Then he can read them whenever he wants to.

Reply

I love this idea

Reply

I love falling in love with my husband over and over again. I love watching him with the kids and finding more things to love about him. :)

Reply

When my husband's travel schedule changes suddenly, taking him away from us longer than expected. Its so easy to be angry about it, but instead choosing thankfulness and love make the days go quicker.

Reply

Even in this busy season of our lives, I try to remember daily to reach out to my husband and show him that I love and care for him

Reply

Why is it that choosing love doesn't always come naturally...??? Unless it is loving ourselves...

Reply

I think because love requires work...we all are a little lazy at heart, don't you think?

Reply

Thank you for this heartfelt reminder!

Reply

I think I have to choose love daily whether it's to remember to love myself, my husband in a different way or my dog lately. My love for my son grows more deeply everyday, but during the hustle and bustle of our daily lives it's easy to forget the little things with my husband. So, reaching out to him daily and myself is important.

Reply

This question is missing something. We're women. Loving comes easily to us. The question really should be, "when did you last choose respect?" I love my husband all the time. Do I like him all the time? No. Do I respect him all the time? Unfortunately, I have to say no again. But sometimes I have to give up my pride and react in a respectful way when I'm mad at him. We're called to respect our husbands and that is a much tougher thing for us to do than to love them.

Reply

Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13, which read at our wedding. Through our ups and downs I fall in love with my husband over and over again. The most prevalent moment that immediately comes to mind is during the birth of our son. I had severe preeclampsia that nearly took my life. I was blind for over 48 hours after his birth. I spent the night in the ICU, had MRIs, CT scans, blood transfusions and multiple other tests. My husband was there every step of the way, running between the ICU and nursery to be with our son. Love, although hard and challenging at times, makes us stronger and makes us who we are today.

Reply

Everyday, in the face of feeling overwhelmed by staying home and not getting to go to a job outside the home for a Change of pace.

Reply

I think it's even more important to be forgiving on both sides.

Reply

I heard someone say that marriage is not always falling in love with the same person, but different stages of the same person- in that your spouse and you will change over time, and you have to choose to love them as they evolve and grow. I like that perspective, because very often 10 years into it you are not married to the "same" person you made your vows to as life has shaped you both.

Reply

I choose to love daily, whenever my feelings are hurt, my needs/expectations aren't met. my husband, in the same way, also chooses love daily. It has been said that a successful marriage is the union of two good forgivers. this is true, true but it is also the union of two people who choose love, moment by moment, day by day.

Reply

Every time you forgive for harsh, words, hurts, things not done right or not done at all it is an act of Love. Then you must let them go and not dwell on them or store them up, that is true Love. Each day is a new day let it be just that!

Reply

daily, but especially when my husband disappoints me. I'm married to an amazing man who chooses to love me, in spite of my mess and even when I'm so unlovable.

Reply

We have been on a journey as a family to support my brother and his family through him being unemployed regularly. He has not fallen in love with his children, or his wife. His words are unkind to me, my husband, or our children. It has been an active, challenging, constantly evaluated choice to allow him to be in our children's lives and show them love. We recently were made God parents to their children by her choice, and although we didn't want the responsibility or the firm expectation to remain in the situation, we have chosen to love their children. Their behavior is all representative of the examples they are seeing, so we are actively giving them proper examples of kindness and grace.

Reply

Everyday but especially through the bad times, and we've had more than our fair share this past year.

Reply

I love my husband dearly. And, lately we have been weathering the spiritual storm of our lives. There is turmoil in our church, and my husband is the president of our congregation. Just this week he has had five meetings in four days as he tried to help negotiate peace in our church. I have to choose love all of the time as I watch him balance his work, family life and church responsibilities. When the trash does not go out, I choose love. When the garage does not get cleaned, I choose love. When a meeting takes precedence over helping with homework, I choose love. And, I am glad to continue to do this for the love of my life!

Reply

Turmoil in the church is never a "fun" thing. And it sounds like your hubby has a lot on his plate if he is the president of the congregation. When you choose love when he misses out on chores, it also shows your support of him and I'm sure that likely speaks volumes to him!

Reply

Thank you for your kind words!

Reply

I choose it everyday. I choose it when he puts the dirty blender from his morning shakes into the side of the sink with the clean dishes (and yup it spills onto those freshly cleaned dishes) and I choose it when he sweetly wakes up in the middle of the night to take care of our two year old twins when they have nightmares or get sick so I can stay with our 6mo old who still has nighttime feedings. I choose it when he has to work late and when he gets home early. Love my hubby and am so thankful God put him in my life. Yes, sometimes love is the harder choice but it is the choice we are called and commanded to make by our Father who chose to love us (John 13:34).

Reply

on a side note my 2 year old daughter keeps looking at the picture on the post and saying "Mommy and Daddy!" other than the brown hair the couple looks nothing like us hehe.

Reply

A friend and I are working on The Husband Project (thank you Kathi Lipp) this month...it's been such a good accountability check point for she and I as well as a great way to intentionally focus on loving my husband in a way that he connects most with!

Reply

I loved Kathi Lipp's book "Praying God's Word for your Husband" as well. Really good stuff from a woman/mother/wife who really gets it. I love that you are doing this with a friend as an accountability partner.

Reply

A good reminder today. Thank you!

Reply

Like the author, I have made the choice to love my husband. This I do on a daily basis. I chose to love him when he made devastating decisions in our relationship that no spouse should endure. I chose to love him when he made hurtful comments that shook me to the core. I chose to love him when he did not parent our children as i felt he should. I chose to love him when he did not treat my family as I thought they deserved. I chose to love him when he showed his sinful self. Why? Because I am just as sinful as him. Because 21 years ago I made a vow to love him for better or worse. Because our God chooses to love us in just the same way.

Reply

so true, the every day hub bub of having small kids can make our relationship take a back seat. I love when my husband does small things, like taking the kids for a couple hours, or lets me do some of my hair brained ideas, he truly loves me for me and it makes me fall in love every single time he acknowledges me as the girl he married, not just the mom of his children!

Reply

Amen, sister!

Reply

Everyday. Especially when he changed his occupation.

Reply

Everyday! I choose to love all of the amazing things my husband does for our family instead of focusing on the trivial things that annoy me! :)

Reply

The winter months are always a challenge for my husband. I finally can recognize the signs and choose love. He is my true love.

Reply