But wait, we must love the one we are betrothed to, right? The decision to marry, stay married, keep the marriage sane and working, takes more than a small effort. I remember several years ago going to confession and telling God how I felt I didn't love my husband as much as I should. The priest told me a story about how everyday at the parish he was in charge of was stressful, but that every morning, every single morning, he woke up and made the decision to love the people around him. He said that in any relationship, you have to make the decision to love those around you everyday. I had never thought about it like that....I thought love was this uncontrollable urge and feeling toward someone that was out of the question a decision...it just happened and there was nothing one could do about it. Silly me, oh silly Hollywood!!
Years now have passed, my husband and I have been married for 20.5 years, and I don't think I could love him more. We have a great relationship, we laugh, dance, joke, make decisions together, and sympathize with each other when the teens hurt our feelings, fail to do their chores, or just simply get moody. We've moved three times, had three children, a couple of surgeries, lots of colds, flus, and whatever else one gets, long nights with sick children, lots of family gatherings, traveling, camping, and exciting times, sad times, and happy times. Through it all, we have gained an understanding of how to fight, argue, and keep going on that same path we began one gray, overcast February afternoon in 1993.
However, can I love my husband too much, have my efforts to love him like a good wife and helpmate should accomplished me feelings in excess? I worry about him when he climbs up a ladder to change the spotlights on the house, or attach a chimney cap, or travel to the next town for a meeting. I pace when he is sick, barely slept when he had major surgery 16 years ago. Is that too much?
Christ scolded the man who told him that he needed to say goodbye to his family, bury his father, etc. Christ told him he basically had no need for someone so depended on others before him.
Being dependent on one person is scary, you have to admit. We are, however, only human and not promised tomorrow, much less a rose garden. Life is life, full of ups and downs, and going it alone just isn't as appealing as having a soul mate by your side as the silver-haired years arrive. I know lots of folks that are doing just that, some by choice and others by default and they seem to be doing ok....but I am not in their skin, I'm in my own skin.
Prioritizing my life needs to be God first and foremost, THEN my husband and children...I come somewhere after that. Yes, my God is the creator of the world, the triune God who sent his only Son here to save us, who then sent us a mentor, the Holy Spirit to guide us along the way until we leave this earth for a far better place ...hopefully. But I do love my husband a great deal, along with our children, and possibly I'll be a bit higher on the priority list after the last of the flock flies off on their own.