Come Have a Peace now has a Facebook page & can be followed on Twitter. Click a quick and simple link here or below right to follow & get updates.Happy Valentines Day! It's the day we celebrate sweet things of love. This weekend I spent time with my grandparents (married 73 yrs) and my parents (married 49 yrs). As we reminisced about the past, I was reminded that all relationships include some mess. Unless you're a hermit, you are in relationship with other people, and you know this "mess factor" to be true.
If you're in a marriage, you have experienced mess. As you read this you may be heavy hearted over an argument, years of disappointment, unfaithfulness, neglect, sin, insensitivity, or failure. As human beings, we all bring mess into our relationships. You can count on it. But true love doesn't run from mess.
Since today is Valentines Day, it seems fitting to reflect on how we know when love is true. And I think you'll understand why I'm not including a photo of this pivotal moment ... I knew Jeff loved me when he didn't run from my mess.
We were developing our friendship and spending time studying together when it happened. It hit with the suddenness of customers rushing in to buy the new i-phone or to be in the first 100 customers & win bagels for a year (I know this 2nd one from personal disappointment). From where I sat with my books spread out, a wave came over me, forcing me out of my chair. I was going to throw up in front of my boyfriend! I knew I couldn't make it down the hall fast enough to avoid it, and only seconds stood between me and total disgusting humiliation. A sense of dread hit me, as I knew my relationship with Jeff was about to take an irreversible turn.
The moment came and passed with shocking speed. When I opened my eyes, I realized I had only made it as far as Jeff's .... desk. My stomach flu dripped all over the desk accessories, surface, and paperwork of my oh-so-manly co-ed. For a moment, I weighed my options and thought about grabbing my Biology I text (too expensive to leave it!), running out, and transferring to another college. But before I could even think of requesting my transcript, Jeff came up beside me. He helped me to the bathroom and left me there to hug the wonderfully cold bowl .... while he went back and did the unthinkable.... He cleaned up the mess. My mess. My gross, disgusting, threatening him mess. He made my mess his own.
I knew at that moment he really loved me, because love doesn't run from a mess. It may hold its breath or stick its head out the window for fresh air, but it doesn't run from a mess.
"Love suffers long ..." 1 Cor. 13:4 (Read all of 1 Cor. 13 here)
One thing about marriage is certain: mess is inevitable. Only those who choose to hold to their promise to love regardless of the circumstances will endure the messes and live to enjoy the other side. Love doesn't just "suffer," it suffers "long." It hangs in there when the mess is on everything, when it get on us, when it's nasty. That proves it's love.
We usually don't talk about the messy stuff of love on Valentines Day, but there are 364 other days of the year to test love. What we do with our mess is part of love. What's the mess you're dealing with? I know we may not want to deal with it, but if we're going to love well, we have to take the mess that sometimes comes with marriage.
Love doesn't run from a mess. It suffers long, and it's beautiful ... even after Valentine's Day ;)