Love Isn’t Just a Feeling

Yesterday morning, my husband called from the car shop and told me the repair work he had initially thought was going to take just 30 minutes was going to require more time. He needed to get to the office and was wondering if I could hop in the car and drive over and pick him up and then we’d swing by our house and he’d take my car to work.

We’d gotten back from Colorado at midnight the night before and I’d slept in a little, so my morning wasn’t off to the greatest start ever. In addition, being a Type A personality, I’m not great at dropping everything to go run an unexpected errand.

As usual, I had my day all planned out and I was charging full steam ahead on the plan. This phone call wasn’t in the plan.

So truthfully, I didn’t respond all that well at first. I was a bit irritated about having to ditch my plan to go pick up my husband.

As I thought about it more, though, I realized how selfish I was being. Here I was all miffed about my schedule having to get rearranged and I wasn’t taking one tiny thought for my husband.

Without one bit of complaining, he’d rearranged his entire schedule to fly to Colorado for meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. This had prevented him from being able to take the car in sooner. Plus, it wasn’t his fault that the car place couldn’t get the work done sooner.

Yes, I was being selfish — and unloving. I was thinking only of me, myself, my plans, my schedule, and my to do list.

And besides that, I was frustrated over having to do what would really only constitute a 15-minute errand. Pathetic, I know.

Love isn’t just a feeling. Love isn’t just words we say or write.

Love is action. It is doing and giving and serving.

It is dropping everything to help someone else out. It is giving up my plans and being available when someone else needs me.

True love requires sacrifices. It costs us something. But it’s worth it!

I thought about all this on the drive over to pick up Jesse. When he got into the car, I asked his forgiveness for my attitude toward him and told him that I was so happy to have the opportunity to show him in this little way how much I love him. And I truly meant it.

Let me tell you, that felt better than crossing something off my to-do list ever would. The added bonus? I ended up getting everything done yesterday — with time to spare!

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  1. Anne says

    Great post! I’ve been there, too. I believe marriage and motherhood is how God is calling me from my selfishness to Him.

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing! I feel like I could have written that post myself, because I have a very similar personality. Thankfully my husband is very gracious with me! Thank you for the reminder that true love (acting, doing, serving, giving) is a sacrifice. :)

    Your post also reminded me of 2 Samuel 24:24, where King David tells Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” True love, and true sacrifice costs us something. Love isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

  3. Dana says

    I have to admit, I have had this same reaction. When I have a plan of things I want to get done for myself and my family, it’s hard to get pulled off course. It’s almost as though I’m saying, “Stop bothering me while I’m trying to serve you!” :)

    I’m glad you were able to bring it around!

  4. says

    thank you for your honesty Crystal! It is refreshing. I know the exact feeling you were having though because I have that feeling often too. I’m glad I’m not alone!

    PS I was excited to see something from you on the Women Living Well PreLaunch book order list!!!

  5. Guest says

    My love language is acts of service and my husband’s…is not. :-). I can’t tell you how my heart has broken over the years because of his unwillingness to do the smallest things for me when I seek daily to show love to those I love by serving them. Not sure what Jesse’s love language is but this could have meant even more than you will ever know (even his language is quality time!).

    • Breanna says

      It’s a great reminder to understand what the love language is of those around us. You mentioned you tried to show love by serving… probably because that’s you’re love language. But remember it’s about how the others receive love. It’s been a hard one for me learn that I can’t love my husband the way I want to loved because our love languages are different. So serving him, while a nice gesture, doesn’t fill him with love since it’s not his love language. His is personal touch, so I have to constantly remind myself that while I don’t feel love that way, to love him well I must show him through touch.

  6. Tiffany says

    Boy, do I hear ya! I am NOT happy to say that I am the same way. And yesterday, my selfishness reared it’s ugly head too. Hubby had a toothache so I got him in to see the dentist ASAP. Low and behold, he calls with the news that it’s going to cost $1,200. What’s my reaction???? Ummmm, inconvenienced that we don’t have the money in our ER fund to pay cash anymore from other tough times hitting. Poor hubby was in pain and needed a procedure done and here I was upset about temporary debt!!! I’m so blessed that he was understanding and realized that it just caught me off guard and that I get really flustered when surprises happen.

    • Rebecca says

      well said!! I had that same thought (but not so eloquently), so rather than trying to “rehash” what you said, I’ll just “second that.”

  7. Marie says

    Thanks for the encouragement and being so transparent with your readers allowing us all to share in your growth. We all have moments like this and it’s a great encouragement to see how someone walked it out and didn’t just “talk the talk.”
    How blessed you are and how awesome is our God!! I love that despite the start you got everything done.

  8. Megan says

    This speaks to me so much. My husband is very much into touches, words and constant affirmation of love but for me, I think a person’s true feelings are spoken through their actions. This is hard for us to navigate and I think your words are so beautifully spoken. It’s all a balance.

  9. Jerri says

    Part of a loving relationship is learning to compromise happily. Unfortunately, I stink at this more often than I succeed. Well said!

  10. says

    Wow…what an eye opening post !! I guilty of this myself toward my husband without I realized it. Thanks for sharing and so opening about this !!

    Have a blessed weekend !!

  11. says

    Thank you for the reminder that love is a choice. And it is the “little” choices that make a difference. No one wakes up one day and decides to leave her husband. It is the small, but frequent moments of choosing to love or choosing selfishness that makes a difference in building a marriage that lasts.

  12. says

    This is soooooooooooo me and I have to admit that I am not all that graceful about it. I guess I’ll have to think about it in a new light the next time my hubby messes up my plans- err I mean, needs my help. Thanks for sharing a different perspective.

  13. Becca says

    My husband has been so unselfish recently that I now know he loves me and our kids more than I ever imagined. Sacrificing for those you love (in big ways or small) shows love in amazing ways!

  14. says

    I’m so NOT a type A personality. My husband has called plenty of times and asked me to pick him up at the train station. I’ve happily dropped everything so I could go on a little “adventure”. Its so interesting to see how each of us differs. I struggle with the same feelings you expressed only over totally different circumstances. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Des says

    I’m so happy you shared this personal story. It’s easy to read blogs and think everyone else has it all together and is a good wife, patient, etc. We are all human, all going to have hard days and get frustrated, etc. While it was probably a little embarrassing to share something you felt guilty about, you made me smile today. :) Not only are we all imperfect, but we have the ability to reflect and realize when we should apologize or change our attitude on something. Awesome story, thanks Crystal!

  16. Jennifer says

    Love it! I think you’d love the book “God Empowered Wife” by Karen Haught. You can get it on Amazon. I’ve done the course with her twice in Australia (when she was living here) and once with one of the people she’s mentored. She’s now back in Texas (I was so excited to visit with her when I was there in July) and she’s an amazing woman of God and wonderful witness. Definitely add it to your list for 2014 (no doubt you’ll be drawing that up soon!)

  17. Kelly says

    Oh, this is so me! I am blessed that my husband is the opposite. Over the years I have seen him drop everything to help me and others. Seeing him model this behavior has gone a long way to changing my heart. Love this story and the message. Thank you for sharing Crystal, what a good reminder that love isn’t always convenient.

    • Becky G says

      This is so timely for me. One of my girls caught a stomach bug & was sick this week. I had two restless nights because of it. Just as she was better, my other one gets started with the symptoms. There went another restless night. I was not too patient as I have been feeling physically drained due to the sleepless week we’ve had. It suddenly hit me, “This is NOT about me, this is about my little girls.” I felt so convicted in my heart for my attitude & lack of mercy I had shown my child when she woke me up. Although I was tending to her needs, in my heart I was having a bad attitude. Sometimes fatigue will do this to a momma, but it is no excuse. I thank the Lord for his discipline in my own life. Even momma’s & wives need to be disciplined at times. Those God moments of gentle correction can be as refreshing as the morning dew. Love really does require sacrifice, but it is sacrifice well invested when it is done in love. :)

  18. Sarah says

    Great job, Crystal! I don’t think I’m necessarily a Type A, but my personality is definitely a planner type. Spontaneity does not come naturally to me, even if it’s for fun, and not just my plans being interrupted, but life has made me have to adjust. It’s hard to flex, when you are not wired that way, but the benefits are worth it!

  19. karen b says

    I love this, & it really touches home when you get a phone call that your son is in a car accident & is being taken to the emergency room. I had my whole week planned but guess what none of it got done because I was there w/ him most of the time. He was there for a week! Before everyone starts asking he is ok just multiple fractures that is healing. He had to have a couple surgerys to put in some plates & screws, but is now on the mend. He is now home & we are finding a new normal in this season of our lives. What I’m trying to say is to always be prepared for the unexpected & for all of us to be happy to be able & to LOVE to go get our husbands & children no matter what we are in the middle of. Yes This is not easy for me, I don’t like to change my plans either!!!!!!!!!!! This past week & a half I have realized just a little more how much GOD truly is in complete control of our lives:) God is Good All the Time!!!!!! Hope I haven’t offended anyone just as much for me also! Gods Blessings to each of you!!!

  20. Cindy says

    I was surprised when I read everyone’s reaction on this. I have been married for many,many years. For marriage to work, you have to put your husband first in these times when unexpected, unchangeable times arrive. The car belongs to the family. If it needs repaired, it is the wife’s AND the husbands problem. Not just the husband because he drives it to work. The car is needed for a paycheck. This was a family problem and should always be placed at the head of the list of things that need taken care of. I want to explain that a husband and a wife are a team. There are no his problems or her problems. They are our problems. If the problem is needed for family’s survival then it belongs to the wife/husband team to take care of. If the children are sick, it belongs to the wife/husband team to take care of. If the chidren need to go to the doctor, then one parent does this job and the other picks up the slack at home. Now I realize that we each have different responsibilities in a family that we take care of and go about them in our own way, but when something happens that breaks that routine, then it becomes a family matter. If your car breaks down on your way to the store, you would call your husband and expect him to drop what he is doing and come get you. If he is at work and unable to leave at least help you get the problem resolved with a tow truck. Please remember “young” wives to work together as a family and you will enjoy your fiftieth wedding anniversary together!! That is what a family is about!

  21. Misty says

    I loved reading this. I’ve been going to college and one week came across this concept in my weekly reading. It stated that most people consider love a feeling a noun if you will, but in fact, it is a verb; something you do. It is action! Actions speak louder than words and this is especially true when it comes to love. Just try explaining that to a teenager who thinks they are in love :)

  22. Lora C says

    You are so awesome!!!! Sharing your personal stories with us is such a blessing. It must take a lot of courage. Thanks for the reminder that love is a choice.

  23. Heather says

    Love the post and it is timely for me. I have been having this issue a lot lately – I need to work on changing my attitude.

  24. Jen G says

    I had the same reaction two weeks ago when my husband called me to ask me if I could bring him lunch to work. I too had my day planned out and that did not include driving past where he worked. I was miffed that I would have to reroute my errand schedule to bring him lunch even though he took leftovers from the fridge. It was when I got to my husband that I realized I could just go back to the last store I wanted to go to and it wasn’t all that much out of my way. I felt so guilty for feeling the way I did. By the way the reason he wanted lunch was because after he had heated up the leftovers he tripped while walking outside to the picnic table and spilled them all over the floor.

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