In the haunting melody "The Story" sung by Brandi Carlile we hear the repetitive refrain "I was made for you."
Sounds magically simple, doesn't it?Yet in many published works and in the international church-sponsored program "Marriage Encounter," one learns that love is a decision. First comes attraction and infatuation followed, perhaps, by loving another.And this love you may keep and have for the rest of your life if you decide to make it last and if the person you decide to love by commitment and dedication makes the same decision.
I think it's wonderfully romantic to say "I was made for you." In a statement tantamount to marital heresay, I admit that I've been attracted to dozens of women and have been infatuated with at least a couple along the way. But I never made the decision to love them, that is, commit and dedicate myself to any of them.
Now hear my one exception: When I was fourteen years old, I was attracted to a young woman also fourteen. The attraction led to infatuation, and that was followed a few years later by my decision to marry her and to love her, as exemplified by my decision to dedicate myself to her and commit myself to our lives together. On March 13, 2012, we celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary and a lifetime of having, sharing and keeping a loving relationship.
Oh, there have been several times when ending the relationship entered by mind. But when I acted to marry her, it was because I admired and respected who and what she was. I "picked her," so to speak. And I don't second-guess my own judgment. She is still and always has been someone I admire and respect.
Finding someone to make love with is rather easy. But making love is not the same as having a loving relationship. Having and keeping love, that is, maintaining the relationship, takes dedication and commitment. You decide to commit yourself to loving someone and act on your decision. Save and except that person having a psychotic breakdown or other major relationship catastrophe such as one partner developing incurable alcoholism or drug addiction, nothing has to change.
In my experience, one thing stands out: It appears that the longer it takes you to find that love of your life, the less chance you will have of succeeding in an enduring love. The reason for this may well be "you." You look for perfection, thinking that God is going to magically make the perfect person appear.
Does the perfect love relationship exist? I don't think so. We are human beings with individual likes and dislikes and individual personalities that for certain do not exactly match another's. Trust, understanding and forgiveness are essential to an enduring love. Enduring love takes work. It takes commitment and dedication. You can do it or not do it. Enduring love is a decision.
Some things help your chances of having and keeping that love.For example, it may be a wise and supportive act when I leave a note for my beloved now and then saying something like, "Dear Heart, let's sneak away together for the weekend. Okay? But don't tell your husband. It'll be more exciting that way."
Do I have answers of certainty to the questions posed? No. But I've found answers that work for me.With a sincere heart, I offer my approach for your consideration. Love is worth the risk for what else in life can make you so giddy you declare, "I was made for you!"
How beautifully written, Richard! And so true for you and Jodi. I've known you for five or six years now and have never heard anything but the best from you about your loving spouse. Your marriage is a loving exception to the rule of the many marriages that end in divorce today.
Like you said, no person is perfect and therefore, no marriage is perfect. Dedicated committment (as you stated) is truly the answer in conjunction with wanting your spouse to be happy.
Your article is also a wonderful tribute to Jodi, for it takes two committed souls to become as one in holy matrimony.
Beautiful uplifting and very inspiring! May God bless you and your wife for 57 years of marriage that speaks volumes to me! The world should read this article, it would help commitment in marriages and to each other! Richard I have gleaned many truths from this article thanks for sharing, you have a very caring heart for others!
Ah, this makes me think of my Richard, to whom I am dedicating my soon to be published second book 'When a Woman Loves a Man'. You are so right and this is such a beautiful story, we just celebrated our 7 year anniversay and I look forward to the next 100 years and beyond with him...
Richard Congrats on your marriage and many more wonderful years to you.
Having celebrated several decades of martial bliss myself definately your point of view and opinion is appealing. "I Was Made for You" in my heart and mind is true, loving is a choice not to mention a gift from God.
However in observation I have noticed often times individuals have a tendency to as they say "freeze up" once they have found love. For example they are in the relationship full force then find themselves deeply in love and yet want to withdraw and take it slow. Therefore, the questions posed in my "Wondering" was in reference to such.
I was hoping someone who is experiencing such would give their opinion/insight into why they retreat or why they think someone else may be retreating in their own personal relationship.
What a lovely article. You are so right, if people wait for that perfect someone, hummmm, well they will be waiting a lifetime. I have been married to the same man for 31 years.
We are a truly imperfect match made in heaven. lol. I always hated the saying if momma is happy, everyone is happy because if momma is happy all the time, then every thing is being centered around her and therefore someone you can bet is not happy.
Love is like life, give and take, happiness, sadness, ups and downs.
And to me in my marriage, respect for each other and others is half of the job.
Respect me for who I am, Love me for who I am, agree to disagree, get it out, get it over, don’t stew. When you close your eyes at night feel blessed that someone is there beside you.
Last but not least, Never rate your self so high that you will always find fault in everyone.
Thanks again Richard, I really enjoyed this article as all of your articles.
Very well done, Richard. It's a wise man who realizes he made a choice, and didn't just fall into an accident. Your article also reminds me of an old friend who loved his wife very much, but who also said, "Sometimes you just have to tolerate your partner." Looking back to when I was a marriage-age bachelor, I realize there were other young women, one of whom could have been the one I married. I realize now that one or two didn't because I was too naive to realize how much they liked me. Thank God for the subtle knowledge of the soul that led me to commit to the one I did...Jerry
here here. You are right on with your statements concerning love. It is a choice, one must choose daily. A determination to commit daily is what keeps a love alive. I believe you can make your marriage be anything you want it to be, mere existance, mediocre, passionate, or extremely fulfilling. We have chosen the latter and are much more loving toward one another than we were when we first married. All it takes is practice. We comsider the marriage to be a life sentence so we have chosen to do the time in a beausiful and enriching manner.
Thank you for your thoughts on this matter. Best regards J'nia
In Your Loves Dedication May You Both Always Be Embraced Within The Bounty of Your Lives History Together Binding & Bonding Your Deepest Commitments & Devote Honors...
My Respect & Envy!! 57 YEARS!!!
I myself would have loved to been gifted with this, but as it unfortunately would happen I ran into one to many ship wrecks of Love :) But all were not in vain...I sailed on to find the shores of my hearts desired destiny! Love is indeed the essential splendor of our existence, The depths of our souls' ambysmal expression
Love Is The Most Beautiful Thing In The World In All Its Many Splendors & Fufilling Colors Of Perfections Offered.
May Your Arms & Heart & Soul of YOU Always Know Love
Much Love To You Both Dear Poet
You Have Been Blessed & Kissed By The Gods of Love :)
Peace, Love & Poetry