Each year I spend a fair amount of time listening to friends tell me about their heartbreak and the guys in their lives who are not fully committed to participating in a relationship.
Frequently the behavior described leads me to respond with “he may be a coward.” A coward is timid or uncomfortable doing unpleasant things. And guess what? A relationship can be filled with unpleasantness.
Relationships require work to be successful.
In the spirit of love for my husband, I’d like to brag on him for a moment. To follow are ways I knew when we dated that he is not a coward:
1. He didn’t lose my phone number. He called when he said he would.
2. He didn’t flinch when a different girl flirted with him. He knew what he wanted and ignored her. He wasn’t waiting for someone better. He did not play games that left me guessing.
3. He wrote a letter to me every day I was away on a summer mission trip the first year we met. I treasure those love letters.
4. When I made
a mistake mistakes he said, “Let’s talk about it.” I eventually agreed.
5. When he made
a mistake mistakes I said, “Let’s talk about it.” He eventually agreed.
Sidebar: We are both stubborn, but we knew even at a young age that we must set time aside to deal with our mistakes. With angry lips quivering we still found a way to create safe space for discussion.
6. He was able to apologize and to receive apologies.
7. He loves Jesus. We do church together. There was zero doubt from the beginning that faith would remain an integral part of our lives. Someone gave us a framed poem called “Marriage Takes Three”. I agree with that poem more and more year after year.
Opposites do attract. We are living proof. It is not uncommon for each of us to argue our perspective on a topic. Most of the time when we stop to listen we realize we are saying similar things. Not one year of marriage has been easy, but I am thankful that I have never questioned his love or integrity.
8. Humor helps. Yesterday he shared that his arm muscles are starting to fail due to ALS. He made a gesture with his arms that led me to call him my T-Rex. Somehow laughter joined the conversation. Today he sent me a cute T-Rex cartoon text.
We are finding ways to lighten a heavy load.
Ephesians 4:2-3 With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
How do you maintain unity through the ups and downs of a relationship?