“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other;
let us show the truth by our actions.” – 1 John 3:18 NLT
To the Wife who quit trying,
Before my husband and I started dating we had a friendship filled with little text messages that made each other smile. Just the kind that were a joke here and there or a funny thing we heard, but it was all small amounts of words that brought about huge smiles… Because you knew the other person was thinking of you and made the effort to let you know.
So, a few weeks before we started dating, after I joked I should make him a batch of strawberry cupcakes, he stated, “I dare you to do it!” It made me smile and I thought sure, I could surprise him and show up to his office with a dozen strawberry cupcakes.
And so I did. I carefully measured, pureed and whipped together a dozen pink cupcakes and then nervously drove them to his office. I called my dear friend (who knew I was crazy in love already with this guy) and had her talk me through the drive so I didn’t turn back. Because I knew, I knew if I showed up with a batch of baked goods I had handmade, he would know I was truly interested in him. He couldn’t doubt the effort I put in to this for him. And all because I wanted to make him feel thought about and even cared for….
So I walked into his office, carrying the cupcakes, and presented them to him in a bit of hesitation. He grinned big. Took one out. Put it on his desk. Examined it carefully. Even pulled out a camera to take a picture to document I did this for him and then took a big bite.
“That’s a darn good cupcake,” he proclaimed. Then he began calling his staff into the office as well, one by one, to try them as well. I smiled, felt flattered (albeit a little embarrassed) and grateful. Grateful that my gift was so well received. But even more grateful he knew I cared.
Can I be honest? It’s been a long time since I’ve made any more cupcakes for my husband.
Somehow over time, life got in the way. And it got hard. Really hard. And it got ugly. Sometimes seriously ugly. And our relationship just hurt sometimes. As much as we tried and tried, nothing seemed to work. And so one day, I just sort of quit trying. Because nothing seemed to work. And so what was the point? Why try if nothing comes of it?
Maybe that is you today too. Maybe your marriage has been hard. Maybe it has been less than a fairytale. Maybe it has hurt you, or broken your heart, or left you wondering if there could ever be a chance to make it work again. And maybe, just like me, you quit trying.
I understand. I do. For example, if you try and try to lose weight and nothing ever works then why keep trying right? Why keep working out and eating kale if nothing seems to work? Can I tell you though, even if we don’t see it working doesn’t mean it’s not….. Our body is taking in the nutrients. It’s absorbing them. It’s healing cells and replenishing deprived organs and blood streams… It is slowly making things new. And then one week you notice your skin seems a bit brighter. And then the next you notice your clothes are a bit looser. And then all of sudden it seems your body is responding to all your effort. It takes shape and it working in a healthy manner. It took time. And even though you couldn’t see it working, it was.
Friends, I am convinced it is the same way in our marriages. You may not see the results for months or even years, but all the work you have put forth, all the effort you have made, all the “trying” you have done is at work. It is doing something. And slowly, over time, you will see it come to the surface.
See even if I don’t feel like trying anymore, my husband deserves my effort. Simply because he is my husband. Simply because we are in a covenant together. Simply because I am committed to him. 1 John 3:18 states, “Dear Children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”
Our actions count. Our effort counts. That doesn’t mean it is not hard. That doesn’t mean we may not want to do it. That may even mean we have to do it knowing he won’t show us the same effort back. However, I believe the words of that verse are true; if we say we love someone, if we say we are committed to them, then let’s show the truth with our actions.
Friends, marriage is hard. So much harder than I thought. But the love is still overwhelmingly beautiful. And the love always outweighs the hard parts.
I recently drove past the office where I delivered my then friend a box of pink cupcakes. As I drove past, a soft smile crossed my face and slipped down into my heart. In the thick of life, I had forgotten about those cupcakes, the pictures he stopped to take of them, or the realization in my heart this small step I had made convinced him I cared about him… A few weeks later we were at a movie (I refuse to say which one but a sparkly vampire might be involved) stealing cute little smiles at each other and bumping into each other’s knee and then keeping it there. That was the start of our romance that night. And despite its crazy ups and downs, despite the hardships, that is truly who Zac and Tammy are. Two people. Imperfect. Who love each other. And if a pink cupcake can start a love what more can I do today to keep it going?
My dear friend, don’t give up. Hold on to your love. Try again. And believe, underneath the surface, it means everything.
So much love to you from,
the Wife who quit trying but decided to try again