(Originally published 9/10/13)
Just a hair over four months ago, I stood at the altar and committed my life to the love and care of one man. When Hubby first proposed to me (in a Tardis he built for me [pictured above]. I know I’m letting my ‘nerd’ show, but I was elated!) I was so excited and happy, but I also knew marriage would be hard.
I was determined not to buy into the ‘happily ever after’ mentality because I knew I would end up disappointed. I am incredibly flawed, and my dear husband isn’t perfect either, so it is folly to think our life together would be perfect.
The last four months, though, have been the best of my life. We have had a few very minor bumps in the road, but I haven’t regretted marrying the man for even one second.
The most surprising thing about marriage so far is what my ‘biggest problem’ is. I was expecting little fights or jabs, competitions in which we each fought for our own way, annoying habits that drove each other up the wall, and at least one or two major fights by now. But no, none of those things has happened. The biggest struggle I’m facing is accepting my husband’s love.
I heard someone say once, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” And I’m getting a lot more than I think I deserve.
I struggle greatly to love myself. I may be one of my least favorite people. I get on my nerves, have annoying habits, belittle myself, and dislike mirrors. Intentionally or not, I have branded myself ‘unlovable.’ So I have some issues when love is offered to me so freely and to such a large extent.
Sadly, it’s the same way with God. How many of us, I wonder, really let our Savior love us? For me, I can only accept a small amount of love from Jesus. Then I start to doubt, wonder if I should ‘bother’ Him with petty prayers, wonder if I can trust Him to love me as much as He says He does.
My next thought is, ‘Ok, how can I better deserve this love? There must be a way to earn it so I don’t have to trust that it will be freely given or that I’ll always have enough.’
Reality check: None of us deserve to be loved by God. Especially to the extreme that He loves us. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). We have all doubted His goodness, His mercy, and His sincerity. We all struggle with pride and idols. None of us is even capable of loving Him as much as He deserves to be loved. And still, He loves us.
How can I accept love like that?! This knowledge is too high; I cannot attain it. (Ps. 139:6)
This is my struggle, in my marriage and in my relationship with my Savior. How can I accept love I don’t deserve?
According to Hubby, “the first step is remembering that if it’s deserved, then it’s not love.”
My husband made a vow at that alter to love me as long as he lives, and he deserves to love me as much as he wants. He deserves a wife who will accept his love and return it.
God deserves children who will accept His love and return it (albeit in a greatly limited human capacity).
Starting today, I’m going to strive to give love, and receive it, as freely as I possibly can. I’m playing this game by God’s rules, I am His creation, and He deserves to love me as much as He wants.