You read that right. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but it is 100% true. I just do not love my wife…at least not all the time. See, it is a desire of my heart to love my wife, and to love her well. Reality is, though, that I often do not love her. Instead, I choose to love myself.
You have to know that I’m not talking about the typical “love” that we throw around haphazardly. Anyone can say, “I love you” or send a quick “love ya” to another person. I mean, what kind of commitment does that require? We often throw those out in passing, when there is literally zero chance to prove that it’s either really true or show that it’s not. In those times we are really stating a status quo type of feeling-based sentiment.
“I do not have time to either show that I love you, or mess up and reveal that I’m not loving you right now. So…let me just give you a little ‘I love you’, and be on with my day.”
Clint Black wrote and recorded the song, “Something That We Do”, back in 1997, and for a country song it is full of wisdom regarding the reality of love. In the song he attests that love isn’t something that we find or have, something we are in, not just those words we said, or some place that we fall…it’s something that we do. Funny how a good song can help paint a picture that imitates real life, and make us think.
God had something very similar to say in 1 John 3:16-18.
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
True love, love like God shows us, is in our actions. What good does it do for us to say, “I love you”, when we are unwilling to do what real love requires? There’s not a whole lot of good to come from saying you love someone, when what they really need is a helping hand, or a nice warm meal. We know the love of Jesus by his giving of himself, and that’s exactly how we are to love. It’s the only way to truly love. And, it is imperative in a marriage.
I have to understand that while I do have a deep feeling of love in my spirit for my sweet wife, that feeling can come and go based on the varying circumstances of life. Disagreements, hurts, and confusion can quickly deflate that lofty feeling of love that I often have for her. And, in those toughest of times, if I’m not committed to active loving of my wife, I will simply not love her. In truth, I will hate her with my words, my thoughts, and even my actions.
This truth has made me rethink the flippant jotting down of “I love you” in cards and notes. Instead my wife will find “It’s my joy to love you,” “I hope you can tell I love you”, and “I can’t wait to love you”. We should strive to love to the degree that saying it is just not necessary…like Jesus loved. There simply was no question as to whether or not Jesus loved.