Extra Virgin :: Gratitude
“One of the greatest feelings of a couple and of marriage is gratitude to the person who hasn’t left.” —Laurence Ferrari
There’s a fascinating theme in the book of Malachi on the topic of love. The book opens with a tear-choked cry straight from God himself—”I have loved you!” But this love that God speaks of has an unusual component to it. When God speaks of love, he’s specifically referring to faithfulness, to always being there, to never leaving. Even when he’s furious at Israel (for good reason!) or overcome with jealousy or sadness, he never leaves. He never stops loving them.
When imitating the love of God, it will look something like this:
Love equals choice, not affection
Hatred equals rejection, not animosity
This linking of choice and love is so important to God, that when an Israelite man divorces his wife because he doesn’t feel affection for her anymore, God states that the husband has become guilty of violence. To stop choosing is to hate. But to continue to choose is to love.
That’s why it’s possible to be annoyed, injured or furious at your spouse but still to love him. Because when you decide to continue to be with that person, no matter what, then you’ve made a choice to love.
And when someone does that for you, then you are existing in the state of being loved. And that’s a universally wonderful thing. It’s so easy to take faithfulness for granted, to consider it the minimal effort required for marriage. But I actually think that enduring faithfulness is the greatest thing any person can offer to another.
So if you’re married, be filled with a sense of gratitude to the person who hasn’t left. It’s not every day that someone sticks around. It’s a special thing, and it’s happening to you. Let gratitude fill and warm your heart, and know that you are someone who is loved.
This post is a part of a series intended to foster happy marriages. May yours be one!
(Photo by Archer Messenger. Ferrari quote found in Bringing up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman.)