My husband Justin is my true catch. My heart swells with gratefulness to be his wife. I fall in love with him more every day. Has it always been this sweet? Has every year of our marriage been amazing? No.
In the beginning, honeymoon love is skipping on clouds. But somewhere between the slow fade of a loving heart, resentment nitpicks its way into blissful unity. Arguments ensue. Slight grievances grow into sizeable grudges. Doubts tempt that love was ever the foundation and maybe infatuation was the only origin of the relationship.
But when you want your marriage to last you cry out to God seeking His counsel and wisdom.
And He answers with one short command.
Love is a choice.
Then the single directive becomes the new lens from which you view every minuscule thought of your relationship.
What results is an eye-opening fresh perspective on your sharp-tongued words, hurtful actions, and unloving heart. If you have Jesus as Savior, then you can allow Him to change you first.
Next, you choose to love that spouse daily. You make that choice with intention. You follow through with it when he makes mistakes, or annoys you, or forgets to do what you’ve asked.
Finally, the grievances and grudges are easily forgiven with extended grace. Your heart is softened because you’ve had an eye-opening view of your own faults and stupidity.
And what follows is a budding love that grows into a strong, lasting love. The choice to love is easy and full of joy because the love is already there. Because God worked love through obedience.
Finding Love that Lasts
In honor of my 16-year anniversary today with Justin, I’m sharing the humorous piece I wrote and shared during our wedding reception:
“The Sport of Bouquet Catching”
To me, catching the bouquet at weddings is a sport. So with this confession, and as a now married woman, I would like to share my tips of successful bouquet-catching to coach single females.
Someone else caught the prized flower arrangement the first time I was old enough to be in the group of other single females. I call it my one warm up before starting the real competition. The first trial run was messy because pieces of cake landed on me, my opponent, and the unsuspecting guy who was eating the piece of cake. That first attempt was messy, but not wasteful since I learned two things. First, never let go of the bouquet and second, the bouquet toss should be held outside!
That first failure caused me to have a great desire to master the art of bouquet-catching. At all weddings I attended after that, I caught the bouquet. Now that I am a pro, I will share my secrets.
The Tackle Catch
Tip #1 from my sister-in-law’s wedding is called “The Tackle Catch.” Don’t be afraid to momentarily lose your graceful poise to become an animal as you tackle the bouquet. Remember, this is a sport. Hold on to the bouquet, even if there are others pulling parts of it out. As long as you have most of the flowers, it’s yours.
Tip #2 from my cousin’s wedding is called “Opponent Obligation.” If you catch the bouquet at the same time as another opponent, gently, but firmly pull the bouquet toward yourself and hold on until the opponent feels obligated to give it to you.
The High Jump
Tip #3 from my friend’s wedding is called “The High Jump.” A rush of adrenaline is crucial to have the necessary energy for this tip. Keep all distractions blocked out of your mind. As the bouquet is in mid-air, bend your knees and spring your body high into the air with both arms extended straight above you. Quickly catch the bouquet and bend over it. Your other opponents will be wondering if that was lightning and where the bouquet disappeared. You might momentarily resemble a toddler in “it’s mine” mode, but it’s worth it.
The Side Snatch
Tip #4 from an acquaintance’s wedding is called “The Side Snatch.” Try to stand in front of all your opponents. This will ensure you have a clear view and no one gets in your way when it is necessary to catch the flying flower arrangement. If you find it’s heading in the direction of the person to your side, avoid destroying your opponent’s confidence too quickly. Before it reaches her, take a step forward, extend your arm and snatch it to yourself at the last second. Smile gracefully.
With these tips, I would like to encourage you to take bouquet-catching as no light matter. Be prepared to use any of them and you will be a winner.
The Sport of Bouquet Catching © 2001 by Kelly R. Baker; Photo credit robleto (Creative Commons)
In the same fervency as in the Sport of Bouquet Catching, when you long for lasting love, you will let nothing stand in your way. What I want you to catch today is—love is a choice.
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