The secret to long-lasting love

 
i worry, you know.

i worry that i don’t accurately show you how broken i am.

i worry that you think i’m a good person, or that i have the God-thing all figured out, or that i never get lonely, or never wonder if people like me.
every time i post, it is a battle. will they like these words? but MORE than that… will they accept me, and the heart behind my words? 

and remembering, in the end, it’s about God. it’s all about him.

and so i write the following with trembling hand, because i don’t want you to think my marriage is perfect, either. we fight. we argue. we’re getting better at the whole dance… we’re learning we need space before we can come together again after the kids go to bed, and we’re learning when a person is on edge and when they need a back massage and not a lecture. (when does anyone ever need a lecture, anyway?)

and trent is not romantic. he tries. he really does, but ever since he picked me up from university one day and told me he’d thought of buying me flowers but had bought us a take-out pizza instead, i knew it would be a life without roses, and that’s okay. i prefer pizza and beer anyway. most of the time.

but he IS sacrificial.

i have a sacrificial husband.

and the older i get, the more this matters. this Jesus in him. and the older i get, and the more marriages i see failing, the more i wonder if this isn’t at the heart of a long-lasting love? this sacrifice? 

this weekend i got sick–hanging over the toilet, perspiring kind of sick, the kind that makes you need your mother–and it was the one weekend trent had planned to go away with his friends. he never goes away with his friends. at most, he has hockey, a couple of times a week, but i’m the one who always gets to go off on trips. so this was his big chance. he was heading for what they called an epic snowboarding trip and then i got sick. but i told him to go anyway. i had his mother in law, and she had the kids, and i would just lay in bed and i really wanted him to go. i did.

(because we as wives need to sacrifice too. we’re great, as mothers, at sacrifice. but often, as wives, we could use a little work.)

but he didn’t.

he didn’t go. he stayed home with me, and he rose with our kids in the night, and he let me sleep in, in the mornings, and he made us all supper and emptied the dishwasher, and he never once complained.

and my vase is full of fake flowers. i bought them at the dollar store because i didn’t marry a romantic.

but i don’t know that all of the roses in the world could turn this girl’s heart the way a sacrificial man can. 

because sacrifice, Jesus cries from the tree where he hangs, is everything.

sacrifice is love.

*linking with Jen and Heather









46 Comments

  1. love, love, love
    the Jesus in him
    that’s what draws me to my man as well

    Reply
    • there’s nothing more attractive, is there?

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    • I agree with you on your entire blog post! I am not married yet, but will be in September this year, and I already know that my fiancé and I are not perfect. We tend to fight and argue with each other sometimes, but it is all part of the relationship process. I think each fight or argument makes us stronger as a couple because we are able to know the boundaries that we have with one another and what our limits are within those boundaries. I too believe that sacrifice is truly love and your husband is such a great husband for sacrificing his epic trip with his friends to stay home and take care of things. This allowed you to rest up and get better while the kids were also taken care of. I sometimes would like my fiancé to give me more “romantic” gifts, but then I think about him and he is not really the romantic type either. I would much rather have a man that is willing to stick up by side through the good and the bad instead of him becoming a person that he really isn’t. I feel like that is love and you shared how sacrifice is love perfectly in your post!

      Reply
  2. This is SO beautiful. So real. Yes relationships are about sacrifice. Our needs stepping back for another… it is way better than roses that will die and be thrown away. Your fake flowers are ok for now and the pizza. You are blessed.

    Reply
    • yes, i am blessed. thank you friend. blessings on YOU as well. xo

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  3. What an amazing husband you have but isn’t what he did for you what real love looks like? You are blessed. I love your line about anyone not needing a lecture. Very convicting!

    Reply
    • yes! real love serves… that’s right lori!

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  4. smiles…he has what matters and that is important…i know many a woman that would love to have a sacrificial husband…and fighting…it does happen when people are passionate…

    Reply
    • yes… we are so blessed, i know this. i don’t know why i am fortunate, but i thank God continually… bless you brian. happy valentine’s day!

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  5. Emily you made me cry! having been the one slogging my guts out and getting up every morning with gastric flu this month i also heave a sigh and realise i am still smarting as if punched from the lack of sacrifice on offer here lately!

    Reply
    • oh no, jane! i will pray that God allows you to rest, that you are able to be on the receiving end of sacrifice… oh friend. aching for you. be good to yourself. xo

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  6. This is beautiful and oh so true.

    Happy Valentines day to the both of you.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

    P.S. I hope you are feeling much better.

    Reply
    • thank you so much FlowerLady! happy valentine’s to you as well! and yes, i am feeling SO much better. bless you.

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  7. this paradigm is all too rare – we need to teach the boys to sacrificial men

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  8. we’ve been married 20 years and i am constantly amazed at my husband’s capacity for service and sacrifice….beautiful piece, emily.

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    • it’s men like these that make Jesus so real. i’m so glad you have one too, kendal. bless you friend.

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  9. Beautiful! I am so blessed to love a man who serves and loves with his life {and even brings home roses every so often} but I shamefully admit that I need have so much more {than a little} work to do when it comes to doing the same.
    Thank you for the exhortation!

    Reply
    • oh friend, i’m SO glad you have a husband that treats you so well! how beautiful!

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  10. Lovely words, Emily. So real, so wise. A man after God’s own heart, with or without flowers, is just what a woman needs. I am glad you have one! Me, too!! Hope you are feeling all better now.

    Reply
    • a man after God’s own heart… that’s exactly right, sheila. and yes, i am feeling better! thank you so much for prayers!

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  11. totally get this one hundred percent…I have one of those….I always think, if something serious were to happen to me, he would come thru, he would. This gives us security doesn’t it? It’s romance in a different lasting kind of way not a here and now kind of way. Happy Valentines day (smile)

    Reply
    • yes, it’s the best kind of romance… the long-lasting kind. so glad you have it too, dear marlece! happy valentine’s day!

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  12. This is exactly right, sometimes I get flowers and they are lovely but the best thing is when my hubby does the cooking when I’m too ill to do it, even after a 12 hour day at work. I’m realising I shouldn’t feel guilty for it as like you say it’s his sacrifice that helps keeps our marriage going. Thank you Emily and Jesus. :)

    Reply
    • yes, don’t feel guilty! it’s his way of loving you! we are so blessed to have men like this, friend. xo

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  13. So sweet! When the wood and stubble pass away, all that’s left is the love and sacrifice. Speaks louder than words. A great example to the boys now and as they grow.

    Reply
    • love this: “when the wood and stubble pass away, all that’s left is the love and sacrifice.” beautiful.

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  14. I love that you have this kind of marriage. The kind where the fake roses stand in for fresh, but that which cannot be picked or bought, this sacrifice, is a constant in your marriage. This is true love. Tony gives me flowers occasionally, but sacrifices for me always. So I know. I know how it feels to be this loved. It makes me cry really.
    So beautiful. And I love the pictures of you both.

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    • oh friend, i’m so glad you get BOTH worlds… the flowers and the sacrifice. so beautiful. love you.

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  15. Can I just cut and paste this post onto my blog? *wink Especially all the parts on my imperfections. I do hope you are feeling better. Seriously, I wonder if at the Tower of Babel the language of love was also multiplied into 70+ different ways to express and receive it, and that’s part of the dance and struggle in marriage of interpretation and counting different expressions of love as such. I’m grateful, too, to be married to a sacrificial man…it really does woo my heart!

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    • wow i LOVE this thought about the tower of babel and the language of love being multiplied… brilliant! thank you so much for sharing this friend. bless you.

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  16. :) sounds like a keeper that man of yours!
    my hubby isn’t especially romantic either, but he loves me well.

    hope you’re feeling better.

    Reply
    • :) so long as they love us well, that is what matters, hey? bless you friend. xo

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  17. he sounds so much like my own husband :)

    (and you are always real. that’s one of the things i love about you.)

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    • as are you, dear leslie. i love how authentic you are. and i’m so glad you have a husband that sacrifices for you too. we are blessed, friend.

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  18. Did I say yesterday’s post was a beautiful tribute? This. It just does me in.

    Reply
    • aw :) i’m so glad you enjoyed it sweet jennie. xo

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  19. ohhhhhhh my eyes want to fall with tears… we as wives need to sacrifice too. we’re great, as mothers, at sacrifice. but often, as wives, we could use a little work…I am guilty.

    Reply
    • oh, sweet starla, i need this reminder too. i am SO guilty. be gentle with yourself friend! love to you.

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  20. This post made me sooo teary eyed :)
    And that line of perspiring sick where you need your mother and he staying back to just be there…made me go awwwwwww…that is the kind of husband we all want…atleast I do :)
    Sacrifices and love goes hand in hand and that is what helps marriages survive…
    God bless you both always :)

    Reply
    • thank you friend. i’m sorry it made you cry… but yes, we all need this kind of man. bless you!!

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  21. In our relationship, I’m the unromantic one. My husband has always brought me beautiful, sweet smelling bouquets of fresh flowers on a regular basis. He loves me with all of his heart and I’m grateful for him. The times when things are hard are the times that I have to remind myself that he’s a good man and not evil incarnate because he left the toilet seat up or dirty dishes in the sink. It’s all perspective and I need a little reminder now and again of how blessed I am to have him in my life.

    Much love,
    Carolynn

    Reply
    • aw :) i love this glimpse into your life, friend. and yes. it’s all about perspective. much love to you too. e.

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  22. I’m weeping and this is so real and beautiful and so full of Him. Thank you for writing, for bleeding on the paper (as Hemingway said). You show me the way.

    Thanks for pointing to Him.

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    • oh Summer, how your comment touches me. bless you friend. thank you. xo

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  23. After 10 years of marriage and struggles we’re finally feeling in step with God’s Spirit… peace between us. Beautiful words Emily. I’m glad I found your blog today! ~ Blessings out, Amy from fullherlife

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