As I kicked off this month’s theme, I didn’t realize there were 5 Tuesdays in August. Here I am on the 5th Tuesday of the month and I decided to put on the table the ultimate ponderable question. The question that plagues all of mankind and by the way we answer it, can determine what kind of person we will be and what kind of life we will have.
The ultimate ponderable question is What is the Purpose of Life?
Answers for this question have been sought over the ages through philosophy, science, and religion. No matter who you are, even an over-educated housewife like me, you’ve probably given this question some thought.
And, as I was finishing one of my latest reads this week, Love & War by John & Staci Eldredge, I was presented with a most simple answer that rang so true for me. It seemed to offer a stunning ray of sunlight into all the reaches of my soul and take all the things I’ve come to believe…about God, about life, about marriage…and bake each of these ingredients into something solid, simple, beautiful.
I love how Truth is often found to be so simple. God really knows us (being our Creator and all). We often complicate everything, but when we are tuned into Him, He broadcasts Truth in such simple ways.
Why does this ring true for me? Well, if we flip through the list of purposes the world seems to put on life – happiness, survival, success, accumulation of stuff, evolution to some greater species, or nothing at all – they all seem futile, empty. That isn’t the way Truth feels.
But love…love is what we were created for.. He identifies this with the two greatest commands ever given – love God and love one another. Life is about figuring out how to do these two things. It is an automatic enrollment in “Learning to Love 101”.
And marriage just might be the toughest course in the program. Why is that? It is mainly about loving one person. The command to love our neighbor seems much more challenging. I mean, that includes EVERYONE else (not just the house to your left & right). Why does our covenant to love, honor and cherish just one other human being become so difficult?
Because it requires us to love EVERYDAY.
Love is grand, but the way it plays out in marriage is in the not-so-grand, unremarkable thousands of little things we do each day. Quietly picking up the pile of dirty clothes laying next to the hamper. Putting down the toilet seat. Watching that show again. Sharing the last bit of ice cream in the carton.
I had “one of those days” last week. With 7 weeks to go in my fourth pregnancy, I was coming off a previous day that stretched me physically and a night that offered little to no sleep. It was one of those days where as a mom, you are just counting down until naptime. I even joked via Facebook status that I wanted to jump the clocks up an hour to get to naptime even sooner. When it finally arrived, I got everyone settled and headed right back to bed myself, however, my 4-year old was not settling down. After several trips into his room to try to scold him into settling down, he still was restless and ended up waking his younger brother and roommate. This was an hour into naptime and I still had no rest.
After having one of those “Mommy-turned-Ogre” moments, I closed their bedroom door and broke down crying. I called my husband at work blubbering through tears. His words to me were, “Let them stay in their room. You stay in bed. I’m coming home.”
It was a little thing, coming home an hour or so early. But in that moment, it was epic. He was William Wallace and I was his Murron. He was Aragorn and me, his Arwen. He had rescued me. When I thanked him later, he said, “It was nothing.” My reply, “No, it was everything.”
My marriage has already proven to be a lesson in love. So has motherhood. It is in these two realms that I feel most like Jesus, when I’m loving and it is nothing and everything all at the same time. For those of us who are Christians, we strive to model our life after Jesus. I want to be more and more like Him. This never feels closer to reality than when I love.
“He lives to love, and if you hang around Jesus long enough, it rubs off on you.” – John & Staci Eldredge, Love & War
I can recognize the people who have already gotten this Truth. You can see it in their lives, by what upsets them, what motivates & inspires them, even what makes them laugh. But, most of all, it is seen in how they handle people, expressed most accurately and notably in how they love their spouse.
What do you think of life as a lesson in love? Have you found your marriage to be a powerful lesson in love?
What has your spouse done for you that seemed like nothing, but meant everything? What can you do TODAY to love like that?
Share, share, share! The best part of this month has been reading all of your thoughts!!
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