Last night, after dinner, my wife and I engaged in a deep conversation about our relationship. The magic of Aruba will make you do that. We talked about the last fifteen years – when we first got married, the ups and downs, the good and the not so good, the high points and the low points, the hilarious and the serious times, of our marriage. As we sat on the beach, listening to waves crashing onto shore and looking up at the moonlit night, we talked about how God had given a measure of success in our marriage (a far cry from being perfect). We have had a level of success because of:
How much work we’ve had to put into it
How many adjustments and compromises we’ve had to make,
How we’ve had to ask forgiveness and be forgiven,
How many times we’ve had to let go of our own agenda and make the other the priority, even when we did not want to, and
How we’ve had to wrap the towel around our waist and wash each other’s feet.
It was really a great conversation (We’ve only just begun). From our conversation, I concluded this: We don’t find our soul mates (I’m not knocking those who say they have found theirs). I know “finding our soul mate” implies such compelling compatibility that it feels like this person is the other half of your soul and God created this person just for you, to complete you. For some, it also implies that the relationship will be as close to perfect as possible. I think finding our soul mate is fantasy, one from which life and reality will wake you. I think we choose if we are going to love as Jesus loved and who we’re going to love that way. I think we choose to do the every day work of love and become what we need to become to build up and complete our spouse and significant other. It doesn’t happen automatically because we say we’ve found our soul mate. This kind of love happens through intentional:
Toppling personal walls we’ve erected,
Asking forgiveness and learning to forgive and not holding grudges
Learning to love what he/she loves
Making him/her the priority
After fifteen years, we are convinced that love is not an emotional noun – something you feel; love is an active verb – something you do. I believe when you do the work of love, the feelings of love will follow. You don’t find a soul mate; you become one.
Do you agree or disagree that you don’t find a soul mate but you become a soul mate through choosing to love a person the way Jesus loved? Why?
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