Illness can easily redefine love and Karlton shares how the effect may be different from what you would expect.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
When I see silly people who think that love is just an emotional high to ride upon, a mere feeling like a drug to cheer you up, or has something to do with little fat cherubs shooting arrows–I groan inside.
Love is not pretty, it is not easy, it has nothing to do with romance novels. True love is hard as steel, as yielding as a young sapling in a storm, and is overflowing with a goodness that can come only from God.
When the feelings are gone, when things get rough, and when expectations are not met, many marriage partners leave. It takes God, commitment, and a love from above to hold two people together in marriage when one of them is very ill.
And we should not be ignorant of the costs to the spouse who is well. When they are faithful in spite of the hardships and challenges and difficulties involved in a disabled marriage, they deserve much credit for their faithfulness. God must smile as He sees such true love at work.
My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones that could not or would not bear the strain of illness in their marriage. Unrealistic expectation can produce such results. Yet a deep, abiding love from God that seals two people in the covenant of marriage can create an unbreakable bond. But a foundation of married love that is not built rock solid upon Christ will not be strong enough to hold in hard times.
Maybe you have lost a marriage partner because of your disability. Ask the Lord to help you let go of any bitterness or resentment, and to fill that void instead with His abiding, everlasting love.
Prayer: Dear Lord, bless those who have remained faithful in sickness, and give them strength to continue being faithful in true love. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He believes there is a special place in heaven for spouses who have been faithful in sickness and in health.
Have you lost love due to disability? Has illness taken more than your health? You will need the Lord’s help in recovering from such a loss.
I love this song by Plumb, “Beautiful,” as it describes the joy behind a marriage that is based on true love, not appearances or what our bodies are or are not capable. If you are a man reading this, know that I think every woman wants to hear that she is beautiful to you–especially those of us who have few things to celebrate about our bodies. It can make all the difference to feel like we are beautiful to our spouse.
If you do not have someone special in your life, the amazing thing is that God feels we are beautiful to Him! I know there are days when this doesn’t seem like enough, but it is something we all should be striving for–the belief that God truly does see us as beautiful. I hope it blesses you. -Lisa