Glowing Coals, not Sparks

I really like reading Rachel Jankovic because of her Biblical down-to-earth-ness, and today I happened to read this (yes, half a month too late). Super convicting (:

I’m not married, of course, but I realise being in a long-ish relationship (we’ve been dating for nearly 5 years), I’m already guilty of the many points she raises – yes this doesn’t bode well for when work, kids, and more responsibilities come into the picture. Just the past few weeks I saw acquaintances celebrating anniversaries or Valentine’s in really impressive ways – X number of roses, Y restaurant… someone even made a super-well-edited MV to celebrate a 2-year anniversary! I see friends who Instagram food-hunt trips with their significant-other every weekend, or who take up courses together, or who share on FB how thankful they are for their partners… and I confess to sometimes feeling flashes of bitterness, because, well, anyone who knows H and I knows that we don’t do anything of that sort.

That’s why reading this was so challenging yet cathartic at the same time. True marital love (which although technically doesn’t apply to me, is what I believe I should be working for, since all Christian dating should be done with a view of marriage) is about constancy. It’s about being secure in a covenant made before God, and obeying what He says throughout.

Your husband should be able to trust that you are not playing hard to get. You need to consider yourself already gotten. Every day is not a new chance for your husband to earn your affection and respect. He should have it. I think women want to be wanted – which is natural. But the trouble comes in when you think making your husband jump through hoops and show his love for you is the only way he can show you he loves you, and the only way he can earn your love for the day. The same is true of respect. Respect him all the time – not just when he has a really respectable moment. There is an old and wonderful word for this – constancy. Be constant.

And the times when I find myself lamenting that our old-dating-couple life is boring, we don’t go out and have adventures, where’s the ‘spark’ –

The heart of a husband should be able to trust that you are not going to generate drama between you so that you can feel some sort of catharsis over the resolution. Sometimes women fall back on this as an escape from what they see as the monotony of marriage. If we all feel the same about each other all the time, how boring would that be? This is simply a lack of faith in God’s plan for you. A marriage without drama does not mean a cold marriage. People always talk about where the spark has gone in your marriage, as though a spark is the ultimate achievement. Well ideally, it has turned into some red hot coals. No drama does not mean no heat. Sparks are not always an indicator of things being alive. Sometimes it is just someone trying to light a damp log with a sparkler.  We should be pursuing in our marriages a kind of deep, unrelenting, steady heat. True love is not showy, it is reliable.

Reliable. Constant. Warm, glowing coals; not momentary sparks. May I pray for eyes to see God’s love more clearly, so that it will manifest in me more powerfully as I learn to love H more truly. And to H, thank you for always being incredibly patient with my moments of drama, or sullenness (read: just plain pettiness and self-centeredness) and loving me anyway (: Waiting for the day, that it can truly be said of me –

An excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

(Proverbs 31:10-12, ESV)

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