Monday, January 23, 2012

In My Life

Last night as my husband was flirting with me (yes, it still happens, to my surprise some days) I asked him, "Why am I so attractive to you?"

His answer: "Because I love you."

And within this simple exchange of words the problems of the world's relationships are revealed. How many girls grew up accepting the opposite?

Girl: "Why do you love me?"
Boy: "Because you're attractive."

See the difference? So many relationships are built on outward beauty, on physicality... on things that will fade away in time. To know when you've met the one you're meant to spend your life with, you don't base your love on something as conditional and fleeting as looks. If Brandon had married me only because of the way I look, he would currently be divorcing an overweight chubby-faced Mom. But no, he thinks I'm attractive BECAUSE he loves me. Love goes deeper than outward appearance. When you really love someone you see past their physical flaws; you don't care if they gained a few extra pounds, or if their acne flared up.

I wish I had learned this sooner.

I looked good in high school. No super model by any stretch of the imagination, but I was cute. I get pictures out and see now that I didn't realize how skinny and pretty I was back then. And the funny thing is- it doesn't matter. None of that matters. Because when I looked better, I was a worse person. I did things I regret. I hurt a lot of people and I hurt myself too. It took someone coming in my life to remind me that God doesn't look at the outward appearance, but rather judges the heart. I knew I had some changes coming my way.

I changed my attitude and ironically, my shape changed too. I finally went to a psychologist and eventually got some medicine for my anxiety. New medications can bring about weight gain. So can being pregnant, and not all of us lose the baby weight while nursing. Especially if you're a short pregger and gained 50 lbs in the process.

And guess what? Go read the first thing I wrote in today's blog again. Go ahead, I'll wait.

"Last night as my husband was flirting with me"

That's real love. We've been together since August of 2005, and he still flirts with me. He teases me and tickles me and kisses me in front of Brooklyn to make her laugh. And he could care less what I look like. If you told me when I was in high school that this was possible, I would have written you off faster than I can say, "Are you serious, Clark?"

Nevertheless, this post is dedicated to my wonderful former students at Needville High School who may be able to learn a valuable lesson before I did. If I can teach you anything, I hope it's this:

1. Don't date someone because they are attractive, or allow someone to date you because they think you're attractive. It's shallow and will lead nowhere but pain and heartache. If a relationship is based on how each one looks, eventually one of you will slip up and not look so good one day. Your self-esteem should NEVER be based on what you look like. You are a child of God, and He is the KING, making you all princesses! 

2.  Don't date someone unless you could picture yourself being with them forever. Flings are pointless and will end up making you feel cheap and used.

3. Don't have sex until you're married. I hate to quote Ashton Kutcher, ever, but he puts it simply in the film "Just Married" when he says "We've got the rest of our lives to have sex". It's true. And it's worth the wait.

4. Don't settle for anything less than you deserve. If you're not being treated right, don't wait for them to change and start treating you better. Go out and find it. Do not stay in an abusive relationship for any reason- whether it's physical or verbal, you don't need that in your life and you need to get out immediately.

5. Don't live in the past. Don't date someone and keep dating someone even though their priorities have changed and have become a different person. Don't love the innocent one you fell in love with in 8th grade when they're now the life of the party and treat you like dirt as an 11th grader. And never stay in a relationship because you think "But I've invested so much in this relationship already... if we break up now I'll never hear the end of it". I wasted WAY too long with that mindset and almost missed my opportunity to find Brandon because of it. Don't stay with someone because you don't want to hear your family and friends say "I told you so". A thousand "I told you so"s are better than marrying one person you're married that you don't love.

I had to go through a lot of this before I realized my mistakes and remedied them. I'd like it if just a few of you could learn from this and live better because of it.

I had a hard path and a lot of difficult lessons to learn before I landed my man ;) But I've got him now. And it's real love; the kind of love God wants for a husband and a wife. I couldn't be happier.

"In My Life"
-The Beatles

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more
In my life-- I love you more

1 comment:

  1. I love this post and agree with you whole-heartedly. This is still a good lesson for those of us out of college--I know a few people my age who have settled for less because they thought they simply should be settled by now. Thanks for the reminder!