Michelle and I have asked many young couples to complete this sentence, “Love is…..?” We both often chuckle at the answers we hear from them. “Love is that warm and fuzzy feeling when you are with your boo, or even when you’re not together the mere thought of them brings a smile to your face.” Or, “Love is the goose bumps I get when he touches my hand or the high I feel when I’m standing in a room full of people, she walks in and smiles, and I know that smile is just for me!” Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat do some kind of job capturing these images of what love is because after all who wants to ‘like’ a picture or a video of someone crying because of a hurt they may be feeling, or some present pain caused by the one you love, or a disappointment that has happened more than once and you thought would never happen again? You see, I almost think we need to redo the wedding day because I’m not sure it is a proper representation of what we are walking into as a married couple. I mean you have the groom standing at the altar freshly groomed, suited and booted, and smiling without seemingly a care in the world. You are surrounded by family, friends, and well-wishers pulling for your success. The ceremony is held in a beautiful venue, decorated perfectly to all those looking on…and let’s not forget the bride! Walking down the aisle like an angel from heaven, literally glowing as she gracefully floats to her position next to her soon to be husband…I mean everything is perfect! Except, the venue is actually pushing us along because they have another 3 groups right after yours, half of the friends and family are only there for the free food and drink, and the bride and the groom who look so perfect and amazing at that moment are unable to see all of the invisible baggage that they are bringing into the relationship that they either failed to mention or they themselves don’t even know is an issue yet.

And that friends is what true love is…it’s not just about what or how your feel, it’s about what and how your serve. Love is not just about what you get, but more importantly it’s about what you give. Please understand, it’s easy to feel warm and fuzzy when you are both on the same page and everything is flowing as planned. She agrees with everything you say and he is taking out the trash without having to be reminded. How enamored are you with her when she walks down the stairs with a sweat suit on that’s 3 times bigger than she is, or how warm and fuzzy do you feel when he seems to get fresh and clean for any and everyone but you? Where is love when she seemingly has a rebuttal for every decision you wish to make and how special and cherished do you feel when he can’t seem to remember to put the toilet seat down after the 50th reminder! What is love? Real, true love? Love is having the patience to walk through the tough times, recognizing that tough times don’t last but tough people do. It is having the kindness to not make your spouse feel like an idiot because they may not be as knowledgeable or well- versed about certain topics as you are. Love is sacrificing what you want in order to make sure your spouse gets what they need from you….it isn’t always warm and fuzzy, it isn’t always glitz and glamour…love sometimes hurts. It can be downright painful sometimes. However, it is the most rewarding and fulfilling of all human emotions and if done correctly by two good willed people committed to loving each other properly, love can literally conquer anything. So yes, love is warm, fuzzy, goosebumps, and smiles…but love is also tough, stressful, painful, and frustrating. But I can honestly say after almost 22 years of marriage, though love and marriage is NOT for the weak minded, ill-equipped, and for the faint of heart….Love is an amazing adventure, it is the ultimate challenge, it is a thrilling roller coaster ride full of ups and downs and twists and turns, and love is….absolutely worth every bit of it!