Creating the Love Spark, Day 11

Our culture has been sold a story.  A Hollywood story.  And the story we've bought tells us that love is flowers, moonlit serenades, and twenty-five women in hot tubs for one handsome bachelor.  It has defined love as something we fall into, and often fall out of.  It has shaped our expectations for a lifetime together to be one of roller-coaster emotions and dramatic story lines.

And the Hollywood story has been so pervasive that it has changed the way we view our own love story.  It can even persuade us to believe we do not have a love story, but only a shallow imitation.

That is a dangerous lie.

The truth is that most of Hollywood's story is not a love story at all, but one of sentiment. 

And if you believe its story to be truth, you will miss the true love that is around you while you chase the sentiment.

Sentiment says, "I'm attracted to you in this moment."  Love says, "I'm committed to you for a lifetime."

Sentiment says, "Of all the people I've ever been with, you are the most exciting."  Love says, "It doesn't matter who I've known or who I'll meet, I choose you."

Sentiment says, "You look gorgeous tonight." And sometimes love just says, "You look really tired tonight."

And the wonderful thing is that love can include sentiment.  There really are times when romance is in the air and passion is blazing.  But, sentiment, on its own, doesn't equal love.  And if romance and passion are not fruit of something much deeper, then as soon as the sentiment fades, the bachelor feels obligated to find it again with the next woman in the hot tub.

It may be the biggest mistake a woman can make in her marriage.  To expect her husband to behave as if he's the hero in a romance novel written by a woman.  To be disappointed when he can not read her mind and know the exact way she's dreaming of having love expressed.  To feel unloved when he fails to put his feelings for her into words scripted by a Hollywood writer.  To be angry when he is simply himself, as if her heart would not break if he were to ask her to be something other than what she is. 

If you want to create a love spark in your marriage, take your eyes off the mirage, and put them on the real thing.  Choose to stop lusting after the sentiment, and embrace the reality of love you already have.  Decide to no longer compare your story with the one that has been sold to you, and celebrate the beauty of the pages you're writing with the one who will make "happily ever after" the raw, rugged thing of beauty it was meant to be.

MindyLove Spark, Love, MarriageComment