Remember how you used to beg to go help Daddy feed the cows?
It was super exciting because it was new and different and a grown-up chore. It made you feel important to know how to scoop out the grain properly and how many scoops went to each group of cattle.
But then it got boring. And hard. Winter came and it was cold.
You told us that you hated doing barn chores. That you were never going to be a farmer. That it wasn’t fair to try and make you one.
We tried to explain that chores are just hard sometimes, but you insisted it was just that you hated farming. All that you wanted was for Mommy and you to switch chores.
We let you come inside and do some of my housework instead. You were so happy. How hard could it be to clean a house?
It was less than a week before you were begging to go back to the barn. Turns out dishes and laundry and sweeping and vacuuming and dusting and scrubbing toilets are all just work too.
When it comes to love and marriage, this is the truth you need to know:
Real love is work, darling.
And just like feeding the cows, sometimes it’s super fun and makes you feel important and special.
But sometimes it’s just cold and miserable and you do it because it has to be done, not because you like it.
The world will tell you, “When you hate something, leave it and find something else that makes you happy.” And maybe in some instances that is true, but not in all. Certainly not in love or marriage.
All love is work. It’s beautiful and wonderful and can make you feel important and special– but sometimes it’s cold too. Sometimes it’s miserable and it feels like the worst thing you could ever face. But you do it because it has to be done, not because you like it.
When it comes to marriage there will be some days that everything is wonderful and you feel important and special and loving your husband is as easy as breathing.
And some days it’s just really, really hard work. It’s cold and miserable and it seems like anything else would be so. much. easier.
If you leave, if you head off to find something not so hard, something that looks more like the happy thing you once knew– you’ll find that thing will eventually feel like work too.
Every love is work, honey.
But here is the beautiful secret… you don’t need to be afraid of the work. There is great beauty to be found. Working through the hard stuff is what produces the good stuff. After every winter season comes spring.
And the depth of love that is uncovered after the work–is the only love that is worth anything at all. It’s the kind that holds families together when life tries to shake them apart, and the kind that teaches our hearts to recognize God’s gracious love for us. After all, families were His idea to begin with.
My deepest prayer for you when it comes to love and marriage? Is that when you choose a husband and say your vows, you’ll go all-in. You’ll do the work of loving, no matter what it takes.
And on the very hardest days? You can always call your mama. I’ll listen and love you right back and we’ll pray together that you’ll learn how to fight right through the hard to the good and beautiful stuff. In fact? We’ll just start saying that prayer right now.