I Love My Husband (By Choice)

"I love you... by choice" seems like a pretty unromantic thing to say, doesn't it?

Think for just a moment about the the little choices you make on a regular day-to-day basis.

The choice to clean the kitchen.
The choice to leave early and miss the traffic.
The choice to read that extra story to the kids.
The choice to pick up groceries.

Now, if you stopped making those little choices, what would happen?

The kitchen might get messier and messier and become an even bigger task to clean up.
If you do not leave early, you might get stuck in that traffic and show up late to work.
If you skip that extra story, you might get a head-start on bed, but you'd miss that sweet extra moment with your babies.
If you don't pick up the groceries, you'll most likely end up eating some bad fast food, or spending more money than you should have at a restaurant.

Love is no different. Love has, wound up in its core, so many pieces that make it one... honesty, vulnerability, trust, patience, kindness, unselfishness, and so many others. Some will say that love is an action. Sure, parts of love require action. That could be physicality, doing the dishes, giving a gift, spending time together, or telling your wife that you appreciate her. Sounds like the five "love languages" huh? Yes, you can even feel love.

But even in all those variables, is a choice. 

I choose to be patient with my husband. He chooses to be kind to me. I choose to do the dishes when he's had a long day, and he chooses to snuggle me just a little longer in the morning. 

When so many people leave their spouses exclaiming it's because they "fell out of love," I believe it's because they chose to. Did they stop thanking their spouse for doing the laundry? Or giving them a long hug and a kiss before they left for work? Did they forget to call their wife when they made it safely to their business trip across the country? Did they get the kids ready for school so their spouse could sleep in, just this one time? Or did they keep their plans with their friends, even though their partner was sick? 

When you stop choosing your spouse, every day, it shows. Just as choosing not to style your hair shows... and leaving work at the worst time shows... and not cleaning the kitchen shows. Every choice that we make affects another aspect of our lives. In marriage, that truth resounds. 

Every morning, I choose my husband. I choose to slowly wake up with him and chit-chat before getting ready for the day. I make coffee for us without even thinking about it, but without fail I hear a "thank you for making coffee" from that sweet guy I call husband. If I intentionally stopped making coffee, I would in turn stop hearing that thank you. That doesn't seem like it would be the worst thing to ever happen... right?

That's where choosing love presents itself in a much bolder sense. Sure, it's an easy choice to love someone who makes you coffee everyday and thanks you for picking up the living room. But when they don't do those things? That is where you intentionally choose love. 

We're imperfect. Every single being on this earth is imperfect. By God's grace, we are forgiven. We don't deserve forgiveness. We can't even earn it. But He chooses us, each day. What a GIFT! When I look at my failures and all the places I fall short, it would be easy not to love me. But God doesn't "fall out of love" with me. He forgives me, day in and day out. He chooses me. Not by my own reason or strength can I believe in Jesus Christ or come to HIm... but He calls me by the Gospel, enlightens me with His gifts, sanctifies and keeps me in the one true faith.

As Christians, we are called to love as Christ loves. Love by saying you're sorry, because you have things to be sorry for. Love by forgiving, because you need forgiving too. Love by choosing the same sinful person everyday until death, because Christ chooses you and your sinful self every day.

So yes, as unromantic as it sounds, loving one person for the rest of your life is a choice. But what a beautiful, forgiving, exciting, comfort it is to know that by choosing your spouse every day, you are loving them as Christ loves you. It's hard to do. We disappoint and fail to meet expectations and don't say sorry as much as we should... but knowing that someone chooses to love me despite all that, makes it so worth it to choose love every.single.day.

Also, this post was inspired by this song... which I cannot stop listening to. Enjoy!