I haven't even been married a month and I can already tell that love is going to be a choice a lot of times. Sometimes we are grouchy, moody, sinful people. Sometimes Dave doesn't understand what I am trying to say and sometimes he hurts me with his words or actions...and vice versa: sometimes I am horrible to him (I had already realized this through all our dating and engagement....)
Our first marital fights have generally been rooted in our expectations of marriage and expectations of eachother....the clash that comes when two sets of expectations meet and when expectations meet reality...And, even though we are still in this whole "newlywed love phase" and still spend most of our days in obnoxious bliss, our first few fights have made me realize how divorce easily becomes an option for some people...when the focus is on someone being your "soulmate" and meeting your needs, of course you will be disappointed. And, sadly, even as Christians, we have encouraged the concept of soulmates, of someone who God has just for you, who will make you happy and complete you....just wait, pray, keep your legs together during your teenage years, and you will finally find this soulmate!!
Dave makes me so happy. I assume that many days of my life he will. But I also assume there will be hard times when we irritate the heck out of eachother. Making our marriage work is based on more than our feelings of love and attraction to eachother, making a marriage work will involve hard work, communication and often times, a choice to love even when annoyed with eachother.
Along those lines, Dave is not, nor will he ever be, my soulmate. I married him because: He loves Jesus. He is my best friend. I'm attracted to him. He is good to me. I like a lot of his qualities and personality traits. I like who he is becoming and who the Lord is making him to be. He would give you a similar description of me, I think! BUT - I often think he is not sensitive enough. He thinks I am too emotional (I suppose thats guys v. girls personality traits!) We have different musical tastes and goodness, he irritates me when I have to try and cook around his picky tastes. I can be high strung at times and he can fail to plan. And although these qualities probably balance each other out, they also will probably cause us some stress during our years of marriage. Certainly we aren't always soulmates who complete eachother and provide nothing but Joy.
We could have ended up married to other people and been happy, but I am glad that God, in his goodness, allowed me to end up with Dave. And right now, he feels like my soulmate, but he is not. And next year or the next year, when times are tough and I feel disappointed that my "soulmate" is not fulfilling me and my expectations (or he is upset with my shortcomings), I hope we remind ourselves that we are sinners, spouses, friends, but not soulmates...and that even when I don't feel he is "THE ONE", I made a choice that he is the one and I must honor that decision and honor him. Love is so much more a choice than feelings.
I loved this article - written by this blogger on her first anniversary. Even though it's what I already believe, its always good to read about it - and hear someone else's perspective. I hope that 11 months from now, I will be writing the same thing about how we choose to love eachother and how we aren't soul mates.