Old Time Love

I have to say, I've been starting a new blog post for the past 3 weeks now, but just didn't feel 'into' what I was writing about.  If I'm not passionate about what I'm writing about that particular day...I tend to slack *blush*.

I wanted something fresh.  I wanted something new.  I wanted to learn something and say "ah-HA!  I'm going to write about that today".   Then I took a trip to my grandmother's house just a few days after this "I want an ah-ha moment" talk with myself.  And I was completely blown away by the stories, wisdom and knowledge that poured out of her spirit that day.  I won't share all the details, because privacy in some cases is common sense. 

First of all, she proved to me that no matter what, God always has a plan for our lives: 
My grandmothers first marriage produced a beautiful little girl who unfortunately died as a baby.....she also had my mother not too long after that.  Then unfortunately, my grandmothers first husband died in a tragic accident.  She was 16 years old when they got married.  SIXTEEN!  Can you imagine?  After my grandfather died, she met an amazing man and they dated for awhile.  By the time my mom turned 5, they were engaged to be married.  He had also been married once before and had 3 children with his ex-wife.  Unfortunately, his ex-wife passed away after my grandfather and grandmother had been dating for awhile, and he was suddenly left with custody of 3 children, by himself (because of course, back then, you didn't live together before you were married!!).  At that time he lived with his parents (and my grandmother lived with hers), and his father told him "son, you're going to have to get married soon and find a woman to take care of these children".  Ok, first of all, that is AWESOME.  I can just play this whole thing out in my head "find a woman to take care of those children"....priceless.  It's the beginning to an old smoochy love movie!!  *ahem*....anyway.

So the next evening he went to my grandmothers house and said "when are you going to marry me?".  Her response was, "oh, someday...we'll get around to it eventually".  He asked, "well, is eventually going to be sometime soon?"...."sure!" she said.  Of course, she thought he was joking about this entire thing.  He again asked, "well, when are you going to marry me then?".  She replied, "Ohhh, how about next Tuesday".  Oh boy howdy, if my grandmother only knew what she was getting herself into.  She was joking, he was being serious.  Here's where communication is always key!! HA!

The following Monday my grandfather called my grandmother and asked if her dress was ready (she had apparently gotten it awhile ago).  She said yes and asked him why he was asking.  "You said you were going to marry me tomorrow!  I already have the preacher, the church, I've invited your family and friends......we're getting married tomorrow."  As you can imagine, my grandmothers mouth dropped straight into the ground.  She didn't know what to do, what to say.  She didn't even know what she wanted....poor thing.

Long story short, they got married the following day, and lived happily ever after.................NOT.

You see, everyone has a love story, whether you see it or not.  But even the happiest of beginnings doesn't mean everything is going to be perfect for the rest of your  marriage. 

My grandparents had hard times.  Yes, very hard times!  Not just because my grandmother was now the new lady in the family and had 7 people to take care of -- oh, did I forget to mention she had another baby after they got married?   Enter, my uncle, stage left in the hospital ward.  Anyway, yes, they had their issues just like every other married couple.  But, they are still married, to this day.

My grandmother didn't work after they got married.  When I asked her that question she said "Pff!  Child no, how on earth was I supposed to work, take care of children, take care of a house and a husband, and a newborn?!".  My thoughts exactly...

There were hard times in their marriage, to the point of not wanting to be married anymore.  There were issues they had to work through and things they had to sort out.  They learned how to deal with each other, not go running to their friends or family when they had a fight or some other sort of issue they needed to work out.  They chose to love each other every single day....and still do. 

You see, love isn't always just a feeling.  Love is a verb.  That 'in love' feeling goes away after awhile, and then what?  My mother and grandmother always told me "Marry someone not for their looks, but for who they are.  Because at some point, looks and feelings don't matter....what matters is that you LIKE the person....not just love them"  And that is so so so true.  I don't just love my husband, I like him.  I like him as a person.  I like him as a father.  I like him as the spiritual leader in our home.  I'm not saying he doesn't make mistakes or get on my nerves from time to time.  I'm not saying he's not handsome...because he is oh so handsome :).  But I believe that because I 'like' him, I will always have a best friend.  I will always have someone to talk to.  I will always have someone who doesn't judge me for my thoughts or emotions.  I will always have someone who will be there for me, even if it means going out of his way.  I will always have someone....until my heavenly Father decides it's time to take him home.


More so, the one thing that my grandmother said that really hit me dead in the chest was something that her mother told her a long time ago.  She said,
"You're not leaving...because you haven't given it your  best.  You shouldn't leave, because I didn't raise my daughter not to try.  You're not going to give up, because this takes work, and you haven't worked on it (your marriage) long and hard enough.  And the day that you think you have given your all....the day that you think you just don't have anymore to give....give more.  And when you've finally reached the end and have no hope, then, maybe that day, we'll talk about you giving up and leaving.  But until you've tried, until you absolutely know that you don't have anymore to give.....you're not leaving and you're not coming in through my door to stay." 
It may have sounded harsh, but it made my grandmother think.  It made her think, "You know what, maybe I'm not giving my best. Maybe I'm not giving all of myself even if he isn't.  Maybe I'm not trying or working on this".  And it's stuck with her to this day.  I'm not saying they are perfect now, but I am saying that marriage, as an ancient relationship, has always taken work.  It's not all rainbows and lollipops.  It's not hearts and flowers.  It's not amazingly perfect like The Notebook. 

But it's real.  It's warm.  It's one of the most amazing adventures we as human beings will ever take.  It's the relationship we have with someone that is the closest imitation of Christ (or, should be).  We need to choose to love our spouse -- Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.  And wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  [Ephesians 5:21-25]


I wish life were as simple now as it was back then, in the 'old time love'.  Maybe if times weren't so different, and our paces weren't so fast, we might all take the time to invest (yes, INVEST) into our marriages.  We might take the time to keep giving, to keep trying, and to keep working on our most important relationship instead of searching for love in all the wrong places.  If we could just have a small piece of respect for our spouses, the way they did back then.....maybe...just maybe the divorce rate wouldn't be at 50%.  Maybe people would still get married instead of just living together and having a relationship.  If the world still saw marriage vows as a covenant ordained by our beautiful Savior....maybe....

Happy Valentine's Day.  I pray peace in your marriages, in your relationships, and in you! 

2 comments

  1. Beautiful~ stumbled onto this by accident and I really enjoyed reading. Thank you for sharing a bit of your family history, so touching.

    The comment about respect caught my attention... the first time I realized how God stressed Love from the husband and respect from the wife in marriage, I realized there was more to that directive than met the eye.

    Women are lovers by nature, we nurture, we love- it's who we are. Men aren't any less capable of nurturing love, but to a man respect is their 'barometer' for love & acceptance. When we disrespect them as wives, we 'tear our own house down'.

    Awesome post. God bless you to continue sharing from the heart of who you are in Him.

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  2. Thank you so much for the kind words Angela! And you are so correct about the love and respect description. There are so many simple things in marriage that we just don't think of....but when they are brought to our attention, we think to ourselves "wow! That simple and I didn't even think about it that way!".

    Blessings to you and yours!!

    Amy

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