In a culture whose heroes of love are Edward Cullen or Christian Grey, never has it been easier to see what love is.
...or at least, what has the appearance of love. In reality, what is scripted by screenwriters and published by people who do not know Jesus Christ, what is labeled as love is anything but.
It's depicted as an all-powerful surge of emotions; something we literally "fall" in to. For many, it is an overwhelming mental obsession; for many more, it is a mad desire to simply jump in bed together. It has been reduced to clever, cushy sayings that are then quoted by the masses on blogs, Tumblr accounts, selfie Instagram photos, and Facebook pages.
It's something we can choose to give up on if it's in our best interest. It's something we can find in many different partners, so long as we are kept happy and comfortable.
May I tell you what love - true, marital love - looks like when it's scripted by its Author?
Love is giving all of you and the best of you, especially when you don't want to.
Love is keeping sacred things sacred (your body parts, your marriage bed, your heart).
Love is the shared glace over the dinner table while your children are laughing.
Love is being held tenderly when your heart has been broken, whether by a hurtful word or a painful loss.
Love is faithfulness even when you're financially broke, emotionally empty, or physically ill. It's the "sticking-togetherness" for better or for worse.
Love is knowing that you are desired, regardless of your swollen, pregnant belly or your inability to put on your own shoes.
Love is trust.
Love is not wondering where your spouse is or if they desire another. It's not leaving your spouse in search of greener pastures instead of watering your own yard.
Love is doing your spouse good and not evil all the days of your life...whether it's reciprocated or not.
Love is choosing their happiness over your own.
Love is initiating forgiveness and reconciliation even when it may have not have been "your fault."
Love is patience when your nerves are shot and kindness when stress is at an all-time high.
Love is friendship and all its belly laughs.
Love is being led to the throne of God, even when you're too weak to walk there alone.
Love is many things that are no longer sought after or cultivated in relationships. Instead, it's a weak, feelings-based decision that we can make null and void should we have the urge to. And as a result, there's heartbreak, divorce, anger and resentment, and quite a bit of emptiness.
But if you want a little glimmer of heaven, if you want something with substance and beauty, let God be your Scriptwriter. His stories are the best.