I had a picture in my head the other day that I just couldn’t shake. A woman had given her husband to her heart.
For the beginning years the man would keep it very close to him and treat it very gently. He would carry it up into his pickup truck and sit it right beside him on the bench seat. As he drove, with the steering wheel in his left hand on the many miles of road, he would hold her heart tight under his right arm and stroke it gently while the scenery passed by. As time went on though, for one reason or another, he removed his right arm without realizing it. Years passed, I happen to see the husband drive by.
As his truck made its way by me, I could see his wife’s heart jostling about in the bed of his pickup truck.
Unable to put to words exactly what I got from this story, I later stumbled across 1 Corinthians’ famous quote about love. The words sing such important truths for the military spouse that can easily be read over too quickly:
“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.”
I have heard many words of advice about marriage over the years. The best advice I’ve heard is found just above. At the end of the day, you gave your heart to your spouse on your wedding day. Time and time again when the days get tough and the hours grow long, spouses strive to protect their own hearts. You may begin to build walls around it, shields and spears, and even try to take it back. The best realization we can have, is that our heart is no longer just our own. The best way to tackle any obstacle that comes, struggles or pain, is love. It is sometimes the most difficult thing, for it requires complete selflessness.
In the end though, that is what love is.
Military spouses know pain, know suffering, know patience, know hope, and know sacrifice. Surely we must too know love. I hear spouses very often say they want to be loved more. I can’t shake this thought that in order for our hearts to be loved fully, we must fully entrust it to the one whom is expecting to love it. Whether you are embracing that time snuggling next to your spouse in the front seat, or whether you are enduring being jostled about in the bed of his truck, we must choose to love. We must entrust our hearts and be willing to “suffer long.” We must be open for the love that we seek. We must make the decision to put love above everything self-seeking. and truly fulfill the day we gave ourself to our spouse.
I can’t help but think about how many spouses are shedding tears this very moment. How many are enduring sadness this very second? I have hope that love will prevail.