A Love Story; How True Love Has Carried Us Through the Years

How is 'True Love' defined?

This is the Websters Dictionary online definition of love:

1.A feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration; preeminent kindness or devotion to another; affection; tenderness
2. Especially, devoted attachment to, or tender or passionate affection for one of the opposite sex

As I read that definition, I thought,  that doesn't seem like enough to keep a marriage relationship going through all the struggles this life presents. 

True love, our love story and song based on  1 Corinthians 13

Thankfully, the Bible has a much better definition of what true love is:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth;

How True Love has defined our marriage.

Many years ago, our pastor was teaching a series on marriage and the family, and if I recall correctly, he had given some homework. I don't remember the details, but the result of my homework was a song. (what a surprise! haha) I gave the completed song to my husband, Brian, on our 22nd anniversary. As I was writing this post, trying to decide what I wanted to write about this word, 'love', I began reading through the lyrics again. I decided to just go through the lines I wrote all of those years ago and see how they applied to our marriage.

True love makes a commitment to be there come what may.

We made that commitment to each other at age 22. I'm sure we had no idea what our future would bring; all we knew was that we wanted to face it together....for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. I doubt we'll ever have to face 'for richer' but we've sure been through 'for poorer'. Some of the best times we've had were when we had to splurge to buy a slurpee! Those financial struggles drew us closer to each other and it was during those times that we were still enough to finally hear God's voice and we committed our lives to him as well. 
In 'sickness' has not been a big part of our experience, but in recent years, having an autoimmune disease has made some things difficult for me, and Brian has shown so much patience and compassion. I know he is always there for me.

No matter what this life brings, we're committed to each other.

True love survives through hardships; grows stronger every day

The early years of our marriage brought several hardships; a failed business venture, bankruptcy, and pregnancy loss. What made the first years most difficult was that we didn't yet know the Lord. As much as we cared for each other, we really did not understand true love in those early years, and I'm not certain our relationship would have lasted if we had not both come to know Jesus as Saviour. What a difference when 5 years in we came to the Lord. It's in his strength that our love has grown stronger over the years. 

True love is a decision to stick through thick or thin.

Through the good times and the bad, we both know we're always here for each other. 

True love is kind and patient; forgives and gives again.

I can't think of any times when as a husband and wife we've had to struggle to forgive something in each other. Perhaps in the early years, but those are long forgotten. So many things that cause couples to fight are so inconsequential that just a little kindness and patience would resolve most misunderstandings before they become an issue that needs to be forgiven.

True love bears all things, believes and hopes all things.

Whatever we may go through, we go through it together, sharing one another's burdens, always knowing that the other will help bear the weight and struggles that arise as we make our way through this world. And though these struggles take on different forms these days than they did earlier on, we are united in facing them together.
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
It's in believing all that God has told us through his word, and knowing that our hope is in Him that gives us strength and makes the burdens of this life lighter.

True love will never fail, for true love endures all things.

The kind of love that 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of; a love that goes beyond any dictionary definition, cannot and will not fail, because it has the strength to endure all things. I pray that in God's strength we continue to have and to practice that love, that charity, no matter what our future brings.

True love is not diminished as years go passing by.

If anything, our love has grown and matured over the years. We know each other so well, we usually know what the other is thinking before we say it.

True love comes from our Father, to share the vast supply.

God is love, and there is no shortage of love with Him. He gives us the capacity to share that love with others.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

True love has no conditions; it doesn’t keep a score.

I can't imagine putting conditions on our relationship. There is no room for bargaining in a marriage based on true love. We want the best for each other, period.

True love just keeps on loving and loving more and more.

And that is the best part of marriage; every day having the opportunity to love and love and love some more.

True love came down from heaven; gave all that he could give.

Christ is our example of true love. He came down from heaven, took on the form of man and gave his life for us. I don't know that I have the capacity to give my life for another in the literal sense, but I pray that God gives me the strength each day to give more of myself, and to be less selfish. Without a doubt, Brian is the most giving person I know.

True love will guide our future, as we are one in Him.

As husband and wife, we're joined together as one, but we also share a bond as believers; we are one in Christ. God's word is the only guide we need for the future. We don't know what tomorrow holds, but we do know that we can trust the one who does, knowing our hope is in Him.

Many years ago, I wrote this about our marriage relationship:

True love, our love story and song based on  1 Corinthians 13Inevitably, when people speak on marriage they make the point that marriage takes work. Brian and I usually share a quick smile, because we've heard this so many times that we joke about how hard it is to be married to each other. I guess we prefer to think of our relationship as a pleasure, rather than work. We decided long ago that making up is far more fun than fighting, so we just skip right to it! Our time together is just too short to waste it fighting. 
Yes, marriage requires commitment, kindness, patience and forgiveness, but when you truly love someone there should be no lack of these things. I happen to think I have the absolute best husband in the world, and if the worst I have to deal with is picking up his laundry that's two feet away from the laundry basket, I think it's worth the effort.

~And yes, all these years later, he STILL leaves his laundry on the floor. It's become a not so private joke!

Our Love Song: True Love

©Deborah Bolack 2002

True love, our love story and song based on  1 Corinthians 13

Next week, I'll be sharing about some of the difficult times we've weathered.

 This is the second post in a series: Stories Of Love & Loss

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  1. I love how you define true love and break it down for us, with explanation and illustrations from your own life. I don't like how people keep saying that marriage is work--I like to think of it (at its best) as a deep acceptance and joy.

    1. Thanks Susan. I agree, we prefer to think of it as a pleasure, not work.

  2. I LOVE everything about this! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Your marriage is a testament to God's love! Thanks for sharing!

  4. "true love forgives and gives again". What a powerful truth! This is beautiful.

  5. All great points! To love someone is a decision that you must make each day. It’s not based on feeling, it’s based on action.


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