Please welcome my guest blogger, my husband, Scott.
You think a man who found the Love of his Life would be married happily ever after. This is the rest of the story in “Happily Ever After, Doesn’t Just Happen."
Many years ago, while in college pursuing enough degrees to look like a thermometer, wondering what I should become when I grew up, the Lord allowed me to meet the Love of my Life. From that point on, I believed that since I had finally found the girl of my dreams, I would cherish her, be kind to her, always be there for her, love her with all my heart, and most importantly, love her as Christ loved the church.
Sitting in the library together one day while dating I asked, "Do you ever wake up in the morning and you DON’T feel the warm, gushy-mushy, lovey-dovey feelings for me?"
She said very quickly, “Of course I do, all the time."
In utter dismay, I asked, "How do you deal with that?"
Her response sticks with me to this day, “I know love is a commitment."
At that moment I was ready to commit myself to her for a life-time; Lord-willing, I would marry her, for better or worse, richer or poorer. I just wanted to be with her. Little did I know, that was the easy part of marriage; falling in love and saying, "I Do." Later I would learn there was more to marriage than saying those two words.
After graduating from college and having our first child, we moved to Kansas and I began my teaching career. We had the role model marriage; love, affection, contentment, and happiness.
Then the disease started. The “Take Her For Granted Disease” began slowly with the expectations that a wife should clean, take care of kids, cook, do laundry, you know, and all that “wife” stuff, while I was out “playing” in my free time because I worked all day. This went on for several years, during which my loving and caring wife cherished me and her children and was faithful to her calling from the Lord to love, honor, and submit to her husband. Wouldn't you think after seven years one would learn to pick up after himself, carry the baby into Church, be kind, gentle, patient, loving, and really treat his wife as the love of his life?
Seven years later, we moved and I was hired by a company that required significant travel. Travel is not a good ingredient to make either a successful marriage or a godly Christian life. My career was taking off, award after award, raise after raise, city after city, but I was racking up miles across the country, and miles between my best friend and me. For another seven years, the airplane, hotel room, and the next city were my best friends. In this phase of our lives, I’d roll out of bed at 4am, kiss my wife good-bye, and say, "See you in a week."
The first few years were tremendous, for me that is. I was able to see cities, meet many people, and live the dream that so many wish for. All the while my wife was at home missing me deeply, trying desperately to hold all things together, wishing she had a husband at home, leading, guiding, and loving her as he once did. (Remember, love is an action word)
My perspective of travel: I was doing exactly what God wanted, making money and providing for my family. Traveling got to the point that if I was away for a week, the first 4 days of the trip she would miss me, then the last 3 days, I wouldn’t be her favorite person. The worst part of traveling all those years: I had become blind, numb, and calloused to the needs of my wife and kids. I thought I was fulfilling her needs with “things” when all along she wanted me.
One thing my wife never gave up on during all those years was prayer. Her prayers and desires were to see her husband change, to become a spiritual head of the house, to love her as Christ loved the church, to be involved in the children’s lives. But, she was watching the love of her life spiraling down the path of deception the world's successes and riches had to offer.
Until one day . . . God got a hold of my heart, in the strangest place, with the strangest circumstances, but with a voice from Heaven that could not be mistaken. I was in the middle of the week on a trip to who knows where, for who knows what. I got into my hotel room late one night, the familiar stink had become a nauseating smell and the familiar sight represented loneliness. I turned on all the lights, and needing noise for company, turned on the TV and began to unwind like I had done a hundred times before.
The TV was on some singing video station, and in front of me was Kenny Rodgers, singing a song, called "Buy Me A Rose." The words of the song sunk in quickly and deeply, and as his story began unfolding right before my eyes, God spoke, "This is you." At the end of the song, there is a turning point in the marriage, and he begins paying attention to the “little things that mean the most in her life." That became my turning point. God was clearly speaking to me to love my wife not in word only, but in action.
I called her that night, and though I don't remember what I said, but I remember how the story ended.
So, I bought her a rose and have made things right, by doing the little things that show her, she’s the Love of My Life.
Thankfully, I’m not the man she married.