By Cami Jepson
Last night James woke up at 1:30am because he could hear me laying next to him in pain. He got up to grab me a heating pad, and when it didn’t work, went to heat me up a rice pack instead. When he accidentally cooked it too long, he took off his sweats to wrap the rice pack up before he gave it to me, so it wouldn’t burn me.
THAT is what I call real love.
I have to remind myself, after being married for almost 17 years, that real love isn’t always big romantic dates and flowers and expensive trips. It isn’t always cute selfies or cuddling for hours. And did you know that sometimes people in REAL LOVE have nothing to talk about?!! (He already knows ALL my stories.)
Real love is messy and hard work. It rarely comes easy for anyone. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. It takes sacrifice and compromise. It doesn’t mean that you always get along, but you do what it takes to understand and forgive each other OFTEN!
Sometimes, in my marriage, my brain tricks me into believing It would be better if we were more similar. If we thought the same way, were raised in similar homes and enjoyed all the same things. Books, movies, vacation spots, etc. How easy it would be if we had the same opinions, interests, and parenting styles! But it’s not that way at all. And that makes it hard sometimes.
But I have come to believe that we have grown more because of our differences. And we have learned to appreciate and love those differences over time. Social media has a great way of making us think something is wrong with us and our marriages. But guess what? We don’t always know what is going on with people, so we need to stop comparing ourselves and our relationships to those around us. It is never helpful.
I love this scripture quote I have hanging above my bed and read it often. “Love is patient, Love is kind. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4, 7-8.
James and I always say that when/if our kids get married, we want to give them all a few marriage counseling sessions as their wedding gifts. Seriously though, it couldn’t hurt, right?!