As February comes to a close, I wanted to share an amazing message of what love is from a couple who knew pain and hardship in ways most of us will never experience. Three years ago a woman named Carol shared this post about her husband in the midst of his four-year-long battle with leukemia. And while I realize pelvic pain isn’t leukemia, I think many of us who have experienced what painful sex can do to a marriage agree with her thoughts on love. You can read the full post on GodsGotThis.org, but here is an excerpt.
What is love without a little proof? What is love without inconvenience and without sacrifice? It’s hollow. It’s empty. It isn’t real. One thing is sure, we don’t need to test each other’s love. That’s a game that will backfire and destroy. Life does enough testing on its own. Medical challenges, financial struggles, circumstances and difficulties of all kinds happen. They really do happen. Sometimes it’s a slow boil over time and sometimes it comes suddenly out of the blue. Love isn’t always pretty, and it most certainly isn’t always convenient. It doesn’t always feel good, but it is always good. It always encourages and lifts up. It always makes us better people. Love can seem like an intangible, but it isn’t because love is something you do. We feel love and we say love, but it isn’t real until we do love.
I love that last line…“it isn’t real until we do love.” I believe that is so true—in a marriage and in any relationship. Love does not come easy. It requires you to give something of yourself—to do beyond what feels good or aligns with your own desires. And isn’t she so right when she says that “life does enough testing on its own?” I know life brought enough testing into my own marriage. But love is more than just the hardship. When you do love—real love—you experience something that is beyond measure. She continues her thoughts…
Love is a gift. Real love is a choice. The decision to love in the face of difficulty, discomfort, and sacrifice is the greatest “valentine” you could ever give. Love each other with courage and devotion. Even when you are exhausted, continue to love. When it seems like you are giving more than you are receiving, love stronger.
What a beautiful picture of love. Wherever you are and whatever you are facing, I hope that you experience a love like this. Maybe your story is similar to mine and your marriage did not survive the testing of painful sex. You still have an opportunity to do love in your friendships and relationships with family. I hope that this February you do love in your own relationships, and that you always remember that when sex hurts there is hope!