When I met Melissa Tagg at the first My Book Therapy Storycrafters Retreat, I knew she was a person who was going to add instant sunshine to my life. This was reinforced when we roomed together at ACFW. Melissa is a sweet and funny person who makes me laugh, but she also has a heart for Jesus. I invited her to be a guest blogger because I wanted a single girl’s perspective of love and romance. So, without further ado…let’s talk about being married.
Let’s talk about being married.
And specifically, how I’m, um, not. 🙂
When Lisa invited me to guest post and noted her blog centers on love, romance, marriage, family, I thought, Hmm, Melissa. Probably better stick to the family part. Or friendly love. Or romance in fiction.
Because, hey, fictional romance I can do.
The real thing?
Okay, just kidding. Mostly. I’ve certainly skirted the edges of “being in love.” I’ve definitely had romantic moments. And I’ve been close to thinking so-and-so might be the proverbial one. (Let us not get into a discussion about whether “the one” or soul mates even exist. A romantic philosopher, I’m not.)
But no, I’m not married. So what can I say of value to readers – the bulk of whom probably are married – about romance and marriage?
Well, maybe there’s something to be said for being an outside observer. And in my years of playing Peeping Melissa (quite figuratively, I might add – no window watching), I’ve realized that maybe my old teenage ideas about true love and romance and what it takes to be married were all…well…seriously wrong.
I used to think I needed a guy who played guitar. Had just the right amount of facial hair. And could handle my slight obsession with flannel. How could I possibly fall in love with someone who didn’t?
But these days I’m thinking love – the real thing – is much more a choice than a can I/can’t I? thing. What I really want? What I really think marriage comes down to? The kind of love that’s made up of constant choosing. The kind that says:
I choose to love you because I believe God gave us to each other. Maybe we’re feeling the lovey-dovey-ness of romance today, but a few months or years or decades from now, when morning breath and personality quirks and yeah, probably my headstrong leanings get in the way, it’s not a gooey feeling that’s going to carry us through.
It’s a daily – maybe sometimes even hourly – choice to love that’s going to make this marriage work.
That’s the kind of love I see in the successful marriages around me.
And I wonder, in some of the not-so-happy marriages, if the real problem is that the couple involved has forgotten the power of choice. The choice to work hard…to forgive…to love unconditionally.
I guess what I’m saying is, when the next guy comes along (I’m looking at YOU, Tim Tebow), I’m not going to be so interested in the guitar playing as I am the choice before me. Maybe it’s not “Can I?” but “Will I?”
Your Turn: So for those of you who are married, tell me, am I even close to correct? Do you find yourself choosingto love your spouse? And before you were married, did you have any faulty conceptions about what love or marriage looked like?
And for those of you not yet married like me, I just want to know: Are we going to have to fight over Tim Tebow?
Melissa Tagg is a former reporter turned fiction writer who believes faith, laughter and love are the perfect mix for a fabulous book. She serves on the development team for a Christ-centered homeless ministry and as the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy. She is the 2010 winner of the MBT Frasier Award and an ACFW Genesis finalist. Connect with Melissa at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
Love, love, love!! And yes, you are totally right on the money, honey. I hate it when I hear a couple divorced because they "fell out of love" or because "it didn't work anymore." That makes it sound as if the two people in the relationship are blaming some cosmic force, when in reality, so often, it came down to forgetting what you talked about: love isn't a feeling, it's a choice. I'm not saying that choice is easy to make. Not at all. But it IS a choice.
And you and Tim would be so cute together! Go for it, girl. 😉
Oh yes, Tim Tebow and you would be the cutest thing ever! Can you do his kneel and pray thing like he does?
And you are so correct here. It is a choice, sometimes a DAILY choice. Sometimes it's easy, but there are days when you do choose to love. We are human and every human will disappoint you at times. That is part of life, whether you are married or not.
I really do want to see Melissa Tebowing!
@Lindsay, you make a good point…the choosing isn't easy. I see that even in my non-married life. 🙂
The only problem with me and Tim Tebow would be my utter lack of interest in football. But for him, I'd learn…and care. Hehehe…
@Sherrinda, hehe, maybe one of these days I'll do the Tebowing thing for a photo. I wonder if Tim Tebow ever just shakes his head at what he started…haha!
Yes, daily choices. That's what it's about!
@Teri, haha, maybe someday. Maybe we can have a Tebowing time at ACFW… 🙂
When God is first in your marriage and making the choice to love has much more affect for me! When God gets put aside or not believed in; the choice is thrown out the window. I'm married and God and prayer are a big influence in our marriage and Tim Tebow better lookout!
I see a campaign starting … it has something to do with Melissa and a certain guy named Tim …
And, yes, marriage is a never-ending amount of choices. And it all boils down to me … or him. (Him being my husband.) Do I put me first or my husband first … that pretty much sums it up.
What a great post, Melissa! No, I'm not married. Yes, I'm still waiting. No, I don't think you'll get a fight from me…he'd look much cuter with you! ;D
In all seriousness, I'm so glad you're shouting for all us un-marrieds. Here's to choosing and waiting. 🙂
@Jenny, I love what you said. It comes down to making sure God is first for both of you!
@Beth, maybe I should borrow your Tebow jersey sometime. Or get my own. I've seen Tebow interviewed enough times to adore him, but we might have tough marriage if I can't learn to love football.
@Casey, oh no, I think you'd look adorable with Tim, too. BUT, I'm glad we don't have to fight over him. 🙂
And okay, I just have to say this: The second sentence in my post where I mention I'm not married, well, originally there was a smiley face icon! I don't know if Lisa purposely changed it to a phone, mail, email icon or if somehow the icon changed itself in translation…BUT, it's hilarious!! It looks like I'm hinting for prospects!!
Melissa Tebow has a nice ring to it.
I am married…to the same man for a long time now. Every marriage has ups and downs. I don't choose to love Eric…I just do. I always have. I consider him a gift from God. I knew he was the one, when I met him. I wouldn't call it "love at first sight" – maybe strong interest at first sight. I tried to ignore it…but when I look back, I knew. Love grew, and is still growing. We are in a different phase of life now. We are empty-nesters. It's like dating again – puppy love. We have time for ourselves again.
Tagg, you really are sunshine! That's all true and what else is true: Marriage is full of daily and yes, hourly choices.
If things work out with Tim, one we'll be married to Tims (mine does have some facial hair and plays guitar) and two, can you score me some tickets to a game? I choose to go with hubby. I care not for football. LOL
Melissa, thanks so much for being my guest today!
Love is a choice. And I love what Beth says to go along with that.
The smiley didn't transfer over to the blog. I came up as a J so I made it into a smiley. 🙂
I agree, we have to choose to love one another when the "goey" feelings of being in love aren't around. I just celebrated 20 years and for the most part it has been bliss, but we just came through some very, very tough times. It goes back to spending time on your knees, choosing to commit to my vows. Now,I'm looking forward to another 20 years.
@Loree, yay for a happy, loving marriage!!
@Jess, absolutely, if Tim and I end up together, you get tickets. And I hope you'll let me sit with you and your Tim…because then we can chat while your Tim watches and mine plays. 🙂
@Lisa, thanks soooo much for having me. I love your blog…and your books…and your friendship! Okay, so, does the smiley face look like a smiley face to you? Because on my computer it shows up as a mailbox/email/phone icon!
@Alena, 20 years, yay!! That's wonderful. What else is wonderful is how you've worked through the tough times. I believe you'll have many more decades of bliss!
Melissa, like everyone else has said, you are absolutely right. Love IS a choice. I get so mad when people throw in the towel because they've "grown apart." Of course we change as we age. If we didn't, how lame would we be? Craig and I had been married for just over 12 years when we set out for Seattle one January morning. By the end of that day, a car accident and a head injury completely changed me. I was not the same woman my husband had married, or even started the day with. It took us some time to adjust, but he made the choice, every single day, to love me no matter what. I am so thankful God gave me such a faithful and sweet man who adores me no matter what. Five years later, our marriage is stronger and happier than ever.(I kind of adore him too…)
You are a wise woman, MTagg. I am so happy that you understand marriage so well; when God brings you the man He created just for you (yes, I totally believe in soul mates) your marriage will stand the test of time. =)
Tim Tebow…I can so see you two together!
You're right. Marriage is a 24/7 choice. I think people grow apart because they don't invest time in each other. She has her friends and activities, he has his. Not saying married couples should spend every waking hour together, but they should build a future for themselves.
Gwynly and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage this coming December. We've made choice after choice after choice. . . Tough times inevitably come. That's when the choice to work through them no matter what come into play. Sadly, many couples don't make that choice.
@Heidi, you have an awesome husband. I'm so glad a) that you lived through your accident and b) that you had such a great guy by your side through it all!
@Pat, I hear ya. You know, it's easy for me, being on the outside, to look at some of the perhaps not-as-happy marriages around me and wonder if the couple even tries. I need to be careful not to make assumptions or judge, I know. But it DOES seem that making a serious effort to spend time together, invest in each other and each other's interests, can make a world of difference. But again, it comes down to that choice to invest, doesn't it…
@Keli, I love it when you tell sweet stories about you and your hubby on your blog!