Sunday, February 28, 2016

Do I Actually Love My Wife?

I Love You

"Words, words, words" Hamlet (2.2)

The words are so easy to say. As Americans, we toss the word "love" around like it's as common as an article; a, an, the.

We exhaust the use of it, to the point that the word seems to hold no value at all. 

Ice cream? Love it. Tax refund? I love getting one. The new Star Wars films? LOVE them! Hanging up the phone with any given family member. Love you.

You already know the list goes on and on.

So, in essence, our loose and most common definition of 'love' is really nothing more than an intense fondness, or an upgraded liking of something.

I appreciate the ancient Greek language. There were different words for different kinds of love.

I'm not going to jump into a Greek lesson or sermon right now, but rather focus on the love I have for my wife, as well as her struggle to believe my English-language words, I love you.

Whenever I tell my wife that I love her these days, I don't just blurt out the words in a placating, meaningless, or dismissive way. I make efforts to be intentional with my tone and tenderness. I hold her hand, look her in the eyes, and I speak directly to her. 

Unfortunately, as I began to explain in my post, "What's So Difficult About Restoration?" this is truly challenging. I hurt my wife deeply. Trust was broken - not just the kind of trust when she wonders if I'm really going to the places I've told her I'm going. No. That kind of trust is easier to reestablish than the kind I'm working on rebuilding right now.

When I tell my wife that I love her, she usually responds like this, "I hope so." That kills me. I wish I could open my chest and show her the sincerity of my heart. 

I spent a long time constructing complex lies. I lied when I told myself, "I never really loved her to begin with." LIE. You might not believe how common it is for cheaters to speak those words. Honestly, you probably never really loved yourself very much, but you did love your spouse. Why else would you have spent so much time, and taken so much care to pursue your spouse in the first place? Why would you walk into a wedding ceremony, where the intent is to commit the rest of your life to this person, for better or for worse? You wouldn't. Not unless you were, or are completely insane. You've got to read this post, "In Case of Emergency." 

I might write a post about the lies cheaters tell their spouse, the lies they tell themself, the lies they tell their family and friends, and the lies they follow hook-line-and-sinker. It's not a laughing matter, but it's almost laughable the way cheaters believe their circumstance is unique and tell others, "You have no idea what it's like in my situation." The truth is, the stories, circumstances, and situations are so similar, it's sobering. The lies can be traced back to one source: "the Father of lies" (John 8:44).

"Ay, sir; to be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand" Hamlet (2.2).

Here are a couple of thoughts from the Bible on the subject of lying.

"The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy" (Proverbs 12:22).

"The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves" (Proverbs 13:5).

You see, the stench I've brought on myself are the very words I speak. My credibility is shaky at best. My wife wants to believe me, but out of the depths of self-preservation, she still needs to protect herself. 

She loves me. She stands by my side. I love her. I stand by her side. 

The only difference is that without a doubt, I know she fully loves me. 

I will remain by her side for the rest of my life. I hope and pray that my continued actions will give solid proof to my words. 

Honey, I love you with all of my heart!!! ALWAYS. FOREVER.


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