We’re going to breeze through breakfast today because the “meat” of this blog post is rather lengthy!
I made myself another egg sandwich on top of a toasted whole wheat English muffin.
Cheese + Egg + Jelly!
Now onto the vulnerable stuff…
Love is a Verb
A couple of weeks ago, Ryan and I signed up to be part of a small group through our church. Though our church has been in Ocala for years, this is the first time in its history that it has organized small groups for people to regularly meet outside of the church.
Neither Ryan nor I have ever been part of a small group within a church before and decided to sign up for 20s Married Life Group, a group that meets once a week on Monday night.
I must admit, I was really nervous going into our first small group meeting last week. Since Ryan and I are both new to the small group atmosphere, neither of us knew what to expect.
When we left the first meeting, we both knew it was going to be a great thing. Our meeting last night only further confirmed this feeling. We adore the other couples and the group is fun, caring, compassionate and vulnerable.
Though we spend much of the time just hanging out, chatting and getting to know each other, the group is following a semi-structured curriculum centered around Andy Stanley’s Staying in Love DVD.
Last night we watched the first 20 minute segment of the DVD (you can watch it on YouTube if you’re interested), and I took a lot away from Andy’s teachings. After our group watched the DVD, we discussed it and I was blown away by the stories the other couples shared and how open everyone was after two short weeks together.
The key message from the first part of the DVD was rather simple: Love is a verb.
(For those of you who may be interested in the Bible verse that corresponds to this teaching, it is John 13:34-35.)
Love is something you do, not just something you feel. It’s something you work at every day. Something that requires dedication, cultivation and care. Andy Stanley states that falling in love is easy, but staying in love is hard.
Though Ryan and I still consider ourselves very much in love, we both agree that we work at our relationship and our marriage and it was refreshing to hear other couples echo the same sentiments. One of the questions our small group leader posed after the video was, “When did you, as a couple, realize that your relationship was going to require work?”
Every single couple had a story to share.
Ryan and I dated for more than six years before we got married and we actually hit that moment before marriage. I talked about it briefly in my previous blog post about moving in together for the first time, but we realized that it would be very easy to just go through the motions of a relationship and cohabitate without feeling like we were in a relationship. The conversation involved a lot of tears, but it was also a turning point because it was the moment I realized that Ryan and I would fight for our relationship forever. We both wanted to make it work and shared the desire to stay in love for the long haul.
Sometimes it’s easy to think that everyone around you has a perfect, care-free relationship. I love my relationship with my husband, but it’s not picture perfect. Our small group agreed that it was helpful to hear other couples share intimate feelings about the effort they put into their relationship and the fact that love is more than just a feeling. It’s something we must try hard to do.
Question of the Morning
- Was there a moment in your relationship (past or present) that you realized you were going to have to work at your relationship as a couple?