It's a wonderful thing.
It can be a crazy thing too.
When I married Mr E our love was new and passionate and exciting and scary.
We had some very similar life experiences behind us, and we had life experiences so different we weren't even sure how we'd made it to the altar.
But LOVE got us there...
...and over the 26 years he has stood beside me as a caring and devoted husband it was LOVE that kept us bound in matrimony.
Was it easy?
Was it worth the challenges, the differences, the disappointments?
LOVE is no longer what it was that day we committed our lives to each other before God, family and friends. LOVE today is something we value far more highly, it is deeply embedded in our motivation, responses and prayer for each other. It is a daily choice, a moment by moment grace and gift.
Our LOVE is no longer built on emotion, but on a solid foundation of many years standing together, shoulder to shoulder, facing triumph and tragedy, opposition and allies.
Our LOVE is a God-gifted grace.
My husband is not a Valentines Day kind of guy.
In fact, he thinks it's dumb.
My man believes every day is an opportunity to show the LOVE of a husband by how he honours and respects and cares for me.
Now friends, it's not easy loving me day in and day out. I am so far from perfection that the Lord is always, every moment, filing down my sharp corners and softening the hard places in my heart.
Yet my husband still loves me, despite my rough edges and imperfect nature, in fact he loves me more today that yesterday and way more than when we shared that first kiss as man and wife at the altar in 1991.
But you know the thing that blesses me the most?
How much I learn about LOVE, commitment, and staying the course despite many storms, from his example.
He's not perfect either.
And that's okay.
He taught me how to hang in there with an imperfect spouse, so the least I can do is show him the same honour and respect and LOVE he shows me.
You might like to stitch this free design for Valentine's Day, or maybe you just want to stitch it as a daily reminder of just how precious LOVE is and why that makes it something worth fighting for.
I fight for our LOVE with these weapons...
Sometimes I forget one or two or three, but it's not long before I notice my neglect and take them up again.
This little "LOVE Never Fails" hooped embroidery now hangs above my desk as a daily reminder that a loving marriage, a marriage which stands the test of time, is maintained by a deeper kind of LOVE than what I first thought all those years ago.
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Maybe every marriage needs a reminder. Maybe not.
But it can't hurt.
Bless you heaps,