My husband and I did our Christmas gift exchange late this year, like we typically do. My husband went downstairs to wrap gifts and, after about 20 minutes, came up with ten different gifts for me. I got him 1. A sweater from amazon. Yippee.
I felt so bad as I opened one gift after the other. I kept saying, “why did you get all this? I feel awful I only got you one!”
He kept reassuring me that this wasn’t a competition and that he loves to make me feel loved.
This post really isn’t about gift giving, though.
It’s more about the fact that this experience felt pretty symbolic for what marriage can feel like in general.
Sometimes one person is giving a little more.
More effort. More attention. More affection. More patience. More understanding. More compromise.
It would be nice if marriage was always two people equally giving, but it’s not.
I’m not saying both people shouldn’t be trying (and hear me when I say, there is never an acceptable reason for abuse of any kind to be happening in a marriage or any relationship).. but life is hard and there are seasons when giving to our spouse can be really difficult.
So sometimes one person gives more.
We can feel resentment about it. Or we can tell our spouse that it’s okay, it’s not a competition, and we love to love them.
I was reminded today that we are called to love our spouse like Jesus loves us.
Clearly, He’s not keeping score. If He was, He wouldn’t love a single one of us.
Seriously, not one.
It can be a really, really hard pill to swallow, but we are called to love our spouse even when they aren’t giving to the marriage what we are.
Because love doesn’t keep record.
Love isn’t conditional or based on what we are receiving.
The good news is that when we feel like we’ve run out of love to give to our spouse, we have a God who can fill our heart up with more of it if we ask.
Think about it, we can actually love our spouse with God’s love.
That’s why we need God at the center of this whole marriage thing.
Because sometimes our spouse won’t give as much as we do. Sometimes they will give more.
But regardless, we aren’t choosing to love them based on that.
We are choosing to love them because it’s what we are called to do.
And we have Love Himself to help us out when we need it.