For all my friends and subscribers out there who are used to my medical/nursing blog posts, this post is going to be a little different. It's going to be interesting. It's going to be educational. It's going to be compelling. More importantly, this information I'm going to give you might save your life. Come with me...
You see, yesterday was my 7th year Anniversary being married to the most amazing woman I've ever known. Prior to our wedding she tolerated me a full two years, making the count 9 years of living a life completely in love. We have laughed together, loved together and even cried together. We've been asked on so many occasions, "How can after so many years together, you guys still walk around acting like newlyweds?" To me, it's simple...I love her.
The English language has one word for love and that's simply "Love". The Greek has four words: Agapē (God's love), Phileō (Friendship love), Storgē (Protective love), Eros (Romantic love). My love for my wife encompasses the entire spectrum of love, as listed in the Greek. To have a relationship that stands the test of time, guys, I encourage you to look deep within yourself and ask "Am I loving my partner in the this way?" If I were to ask your partner, would they answer in the affirmative?
So, what does this love look like you might ask? Let's start with Agapē. As mentioned, Agapē is God's love. You first must ask "How does God love?" This is an easy one, because he tells us in his word.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Sounds beautiful, doesn't it? Agapē is the most important and sacred of all love, which is why I listed it first. Without this love, all the others crumble like a house of cards. My wife and I attend church with our children each Sunday that I don't work the night before. I'm so very blessed to have found a woman that holds Christ dear to her heart. Trust me, it makes all the difference in the world. It's kind of like sushi. You can never really know what it's like until you experience it for yourself. Without Him in the center of our relationship, we wouldn't have a frame of reference to even know what Agapē was.
Phileō is "Friendship love". Do you regard your partner as your best friend? C'mon now! In your heart of hearts, are they your BEST friend? Do you wake up in the morning excited to see them, hang out with them? If you see something hilarious on FB, are you anxious to share it with them? Do you guys go hang out? Tell jokes to each other, joke around with each other? All those things are things you would do with your best friend, right?
When I wake up in the morning, I'll quietly wait most days to see if she's lightly sleeping. Most times, when I'm stirring she also starts to stir. We'll lie there in bed sometimes for an hour just laughing and joking about stuff or look through social media, sharing stuff with each other. I love hanging out with Michelle. She's awesome. She's funny. She knows I love her. And because I show her Phileō, she feels it and gives it back to me.
As the husband, the stronger of the pair, it is my job to guard and protect my wife at all cost. I would lay down my life for her without a second thought because I have a deep love for her called Storgē, "Protective Love." Now don't get me wrong, she is a lioness! I'd not want to cross her if she felt threatened. Plus, I'm not sure you have ever seen her biceps? Nonetheless, if ever there was a threat, I'd protect her like a mother protects her babies and would die to keep her safe. Are you willing to do the same?
Guys, we're not typically very good at romance...later on. Did you catch that? I'm sure your partner did if they're reading this. I'm sure if you think back to the beginning of your relationship you were Casinova! You were buying flowers, getting cards, leaving notes, etc. What about now? What kind of effort do you make on a daily basis? Hey, a relationship takes work. But if you love your partner, the work is worth it, right? Everybody wants to feel "Eros". There's just something about it. It's fun, it's exciting! People are willing to turn to infidelity for it. (gasp) True or true?
How are you showing "Eros" to your partner? Are you making the effort to send them little love notes or flowers for no reason at all other than to show them you love them? Right about now you might be thinking, "I've done this but it doesn't work or last very long" or "I don't get this in return." I would say to you "refer back to Agapē love." I promise. If you start doing the little things, they will turn into big things. (Hint-they're already big things to your partner).
Hey, I can't take all the credit for our amazing relationship. We go halfisies. Michelle is an extremely patient, understanding, and loving woman. She accepts the worst things in me and loves me anyway. However, I'm pretty sure if I didn't show her all the love I've described, our relationship wouldn't be as solid as it is today.
I hope this has been all the things I'd hoped it to be in the beginning for you. A relationship takes work if you want to have a love that lasts. Sometimes it might feel like it's a one man show, and you're that man. Trust me, it feels that way at different times for the both of you. YOU are the man. It's YOUR job to step up and set the pace of the relationship. Start with Agapē and the rest will fall into place. I am so thankful to God for bringing Michelle into my life.
I pray that each of you will also find a love like ours. If you are having some relationship issues currently, stay strong. There's nothing wrong with seeking help. If you'd like to take baby steps and talk about it, feel free to hit me up. You can find me on Twitter anytime of the day or you can email me at email@example.com.
Thanks for taking the time to read. If you liked it, please share it. Oh, and I love the comments you guys leave. I read all of them. Appreciate each of you.