Okay, here’s my confession: I’ve only been married for FOUR months. So I’m thinking I’m not quite an expert on the subject.
In fact, I know I am absolutely a work in progress when it comes to the role of being a wife. But I also know this, I LOVE being my husband’s wife.
Before I started writing, I sat here listening to the audio CD from our wedding ceremony. In other words, I sat at home in our quaint little apartment sobbing. Don’t ask me why I didn’t sob like that on our wedding day. I think I was too nervous and excited to fully grasp all that was being said. On that beautiful fall day in October, we made a covenant with God and with each other to honor, cherish, and LOVE one another “till death do us part.”
That is not a small commitment. That is a lifelong, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse commitment. A commitment to walk alongside one another “till death do us part.”
Four months is a short amount of time. But to say I haven’t learned anything about marriage in four months would be a lie.
In fact, when it comes to loving someone, I think I’ve learned more in these four months than I have in the last 27 years of my life.
So I thought I would share just a few (four to be exact- one for each month of marriage) of the lessons I’ve been learning about LOVE through marriage to my sweet husband, Rick.
One: LOVE IS PATIENT, LOVE IS KIND…
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 reads, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Honestly, I never knew it was possible to have so much love for one single person. What do I mean by this? Here’s the best example I can think of: I’m not a big eater. I would be okay with a bowl of salad (and maybe some chicken) for dinner every night. Rick, on the other hand, well he likes food! And because of that, I find myself searching for different recipes all the time. Yes, it takes time to find recipes, go to the grocery store, and cook the food, but I love it. Why? Because I love making food that my husband enjoys (he helps with the cooking too!). It’s a way for me to show him just how much I love him. I’m not necessarily cooking for myself (yes, I do need to eat too), but rather I’m cooking for him because I know how much he appreciates it.
One other quick example:
Rick does not enjoy doing the dishes. Most days, we get home from work around the same time. But occasionally, he gets home before I do. And guess what. If there are dishes left in the sink from the morning, he washes them even though I know know he would rather not. You see, I appreciate when everything is cleaned and put away, and Rick knows that (and here’s a secret, I think that makes me love him even more).
Sometimes small acts of kindness are big expressions of love: Love is kind, it is not self-seeking.
Two: AN UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
Let me tell you a short story. To say I’m a bit of a neat freak is probably an understatement. My husband, well, he’s the complete opposite. I like having everything cleaned up and put away, whereas dirty dishes piled in the sink don’t bother him at all.
Our first few weeks of marriage I would literally follow his trail around the apartment (dirty gym clothes on the floor, a dirty wet towel from the shower left on the bed, dresser drawers left open, the toilet set left up- I only fell in twice!). Did I complain? Yes (I mean, really. Who wants to fall in the toilet?). Was I always the nicest about it? No. Did he get mad at me? No.
I’m serious. He just did not get mad. I would be sitting there all frustrated and he would calmly walk over and give me a hug. WHAT?!? Here he was loving me when my attitude was not so lovable. Why? Why choose to show me love when I was not acting worthy of such love?
Ephesians 5:25 says this, “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”
This love is an unconditional, sacrificial, selfless kind of love. Now, does this mean it is only the husband’s job to love his wife with an unconditional love? No. It goes both ways. As a wife, I am to honor, respect, and love my husband BECAUSE he has vowed to lay down his life for me just as Christ laid down his life for the church. AND THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE THAN THAT.
In fact, in Romans 5:8 it says this, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ dies for us.”
I have another confession to make: I am not perfect- I never have been and I never will be. And guess what, neither is Rick- never has been, never will be.
Is this a recipe for disaster? Absolutely not. Life is not perfect, but as husband and wife, we vowed to love one another despite our imperfections. We vowed to love one another with a love that neither one of us will truly ever deserve- an unconditional love.
Three: A HERO KIND OF LOVE
During our wedding ceremony, our pastor said to me, “Alyssa, let Rick come home every day and feel as though he is your HERO because of your LOVE and your steadfast FAITHFULNESS to him.”
What exactly did he mean by this? When I hear the word, hero, I think of the superheroes portrayed in the comic books- such as Spider-Man or Captain America. But here’s the thing: Rick does not exactly walk around with a spider sense, nor does he have an indestructible shield to throw around!
However, Rick vowed to love me unconditionally, just as Christ loves the church. And I’ll be the first to admit, that is not an easy task. In my book, that makes him a hero.
So here is my next question: How do I show my hero my LOVE and steadfast FAITHFULNESS? My answer: support him, encourage him, listen to him, and help him to be all that God has intended him to be.
Four: WE LOVE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.
1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.”
And here is the short and simple truth:
Our love for one another is rooted in our love for Jesus Christ. It is that foundation of unconditional love and underserved grace, which enables our love for each other to grow and strengthen with each passing day.
I pray we never loose sight of Christ’s love for us as we continue this adventure together as husband and wife.
For as it reads in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
May we always LOVE with kind and patient hearts. May we LOVE unconditionally. May our LOVE and faithfulness be a source of strength and encouragement. And above all else may our LOVE always be a reflection of Christ’s unconditional LOVE.
Although Alyssa Kuiken lives in small town northern New Jersey, she likes to think she doesn’t have a typical New Jersey accent. (Just don’t ask her to say words like talk, walk, or dog!) She married her sweet husband, Rick, this past October and loves sharing life’s adventures with him. She works as a wound care nurse and feels it’s the best job ever, because it is an everyday reminder of how fearfully and wonderfully God created each one of us. When she’s not at work, she’s usually running or lifting weights at the gym with her husband Rick (aka coach), searching for new recipes for dinner, on the lookout for antiques to decorate their home, or watching Eli Manning and the Giants (go G-men!!!) play football. Follow her on Instagram at @alykuiks!