I’m titling this post “Fifth–and Last–Way to Restore Love” but of course we know there are many others I’m not covering here. But one I do want to include is: don’t major on the minors.
Unfortunately, I’m an expert at majoring on the minors. Everything is a big deal. And especially in the beginning of our marriage, I was always on the hunt for anything Larry did that indicated he had fallen out of love with me. Because I didn’t trust his love and I believed no one could ever love me for a long time. Well, 46 years later, he has proved me wrong. And believe me, he’s had to put up with a lot of junk. (Of course, vice versa–but he would say the same thing). But that’s what love is about. Sticking it out and to help us, we can resist majoring on the minors.
This concept is most often suggested for parents getting through their children’s teen-aged years, but it’s just as applicable for marriage. We so often get uptight about things that aren’t really that important.
I was talking to a friend the other day and we were recalling times we’d been angry at our husbands…then realized we couldn’t remember the reasons why! We’d thought it had been so important at the time, but obviously it hadn’t impacted our whole future.
Almost twenty years ago when Larry’s life was in danger from cancer, small disagreements and tensions no longer seemed so important. After we found out his cancer had been removed successfully and his life was no longer in danger, small matters again made me disillusioned.
Then I reminded myself, Am I making a big deal out of something unimportant? Obviously, we do need to communicate and resolve issues, but often our level of unhappiness is not consistent with the importance of the disagreement.
And can I also say to us women, hormones really do blow things out of proportion. If something didn’t previously bother us and now it does because we are PMSing or in menopause, guess what changed? The issue? No! Us! And after we stop PMSing or get through menopause, it’ll return to nothing of importance. Hang in there and tell yourself the truth: God knows when something is important and He’ll take care of it. (Of course, we can still speak the truth in love, OK?)
Also, we can we ask ourselves, “Am I feeling less love over something that I won’t even remember a year from now? How about eternity? Will it be important then?” Answering such questions can help us concentrate on what is really important.
As I look back over 46 years of marriage, traveling repeatedly through romance, disillusionment and joy, I must remind myself to major on the majors, recognize the value of our differences, plan to prevent boredom, and make sure displacement doesn’t add to my unloving feelings. Larry and I enjoy a vitality and unity that I once thought was impossible. I’m convinced that even if we “fall” out of love, God can strengthen us to make a decision to love. Then the feelings of love will follow.