What prompts me to whisper, “Good night,” to her empty space in my bed each night? Why do I bury my face in one of her t-shirts and try to catch her scent one more time? What is it that makes me cry when somebody lets me know how much they miss her? Love.
We’re not talking about a love that is “found.” It’s not something that was stumbled upon by sheer luck. It’s a love that was worked on, cultivated, and nurtured. It was a decision made by two people who committed their lives to one another, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse…until death parted them. A husband and a wife that placed their lives and relationship in Jesus.
I’m also not speaking of perfection. No, we both had years of learning how to do marriage “right” ahead of us, or so I thought. We made mistakes, we had our spats, and we chose to love each other, anyway, through any obstacles that were presented. The joy was in getting to know one another better.
This love exists in our world. It does not die with a loved one who goes home. The decisions that produced such a strong love can still be made by a surviving spouse. One day, all that I learned in years of love education will be remembered and practiced with another. Love is shareable and endless.
Bonds of love were forged that will never be broken. I will hold Jana close for the rest of my life. She is a part of me…my memory, my heart, my very personality. When I find opportunity to love again, in a most unexplainable way, Jana will be part of the equation.
Please, don’t misunderstand. New relationships will not be measured, compared, or guided by my life with Jana. My experience has made me who I am today. Jana played a major role in my evolving understanding of marriage, fatherhood, and love. Those I meet, going forward, are different and everything is new. Any new relationship will benefit from my previous growth in a healthy, loving marriage.
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
What a joy to have had the opportunity to love another! What a blessing to have the family that I do! God has been so good, giving to me when I deserve absolutely nothing. God is love. Through Him, I will continue to choose love.