While I understand what he was getting at, I can’t help but disagree. Because I am in love with a man. Deeply in love with him. I may not get butterflies every time he walks into the room anymore, or blush when he says my name. The “emotional feelings” that accompanied our early years may only pop up from time to time versus whenever we are near each other. But there’s no doubt that I’m in love.
Photo by Karen Feder PhotographyWhen I said this, another friend then asked me how I would define being “in love.” I told them both that to me, being in love meant that I don’t ever want to live a day of my life without this man. He’s everything to me, and if I ever had to face life without him, I would crumble to pieces.
My friend had concluded that when choosing a mate, one shouldn’t trust the feelings that you may be feeling for someone. Your decision should be made based on logical assessments of how and why this person is a good fit for you, etc. Again, I understood what he meant, but disagreed.
Because here is what I believe: love (between a man & woman) isn’t just about a feeling, nor is it simply a decision you make every morning when you wake up. It has to be both. And it does not have to be logical.
When I first met JP, he was anything but the “logical decision” for my future husband. People thought I was crazy for being interested in this pony-tailed, tattooed, pierced up, motorcycle-riding, non-virgin, loud, opinionated, former party boy from a divorced home and a history of drug and alcohol abuse (never mind the fact that he was a new creation now, right?). I had friends telling me why they felt he was disqualified and family sitting me down for heart-to-hearts. And after dating for about six months – even having made plans to get engaged when I finished school in the spring – I broke up with him because of these “failures” to line up with what I had always imagined in my husband. I had always been taught that I needed a “Word from God” to marry someone, but didn’t know how to hear that “word” for myself. I guess I usually just looked over the checklist I had assembled and then asked my dad what he thought.This time, it wasn’t going to work out that way. I had every emotional feeling in the world for this man, but he failed the checklist. So did that mean God was saying, “No?”
You all know how the story ends. As I type this, I’m sitting on the couch 9 months pregnant with his third child! So what happened?
After about six months apart, I realized a few things.
1.) JP’s past did not determine who he was as a man of God now.
2.) Where in the Bible had I ever seen God saying, “Thus says the Lord, you shall marry so-and-so?” They all chose their mates for themselves, and as long as they chose from among God’s people, it was good.
3.) I realized I did not want to live without this man. I was in love with him.
So I tossed out my checklist, chose to see JP for who he was (and is now) instead of focusing on his past (“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” I Sam 16:7), and married the man I loved. And I’m still madly in love with him. Not the sweaty palms, giddy sort of love that goes away, but the kind of love that -- when I look over at him falling asleep on the couch next to his puppy as I type this – makes me tear up and pray to God that I will never have to face a day of my life without him.
Photo by Karen Feder PhotographyHappy 5th anniversary to the checklist-failing man of my dreams. I can’t imagine life without you. You are a good, honest, hard-working, loving, loyal, funny, genuine, committed, patient, faithful, adoring, godly husband and father. You love me completely, and I’ll love you forever.