Do you love me now?
All relationships have phases. There’s the nervous, exciting first moments phase. There’s the gradual relaxing into comfortable. (I like to call this the “sweatpants stage.”) There’s the phase of discovery. To be fair, the discovery phase really isn’t so much a phase as a continual process, however, there are seasons in which more discovery takes place than others.
The discovery phase is really the most important because what you do with what you discover determines where your relationship goes. While this may be most drastically evident in the beginning, it doesn’t lessen in significance through the years. Perhaps it even grows.
There are those first few days where you’re walking in a dream, where everything is sweet and lovely and new. All you see is the good. But somewhere along the line reality sets. Nobody is perfect.
That first moment when your imperfection slips is terrifying… will they still love you? Will they cut and run? But, while it is absolutely terrifying, it can also be one of the most amazingly freeing and confirming moments of your life.
This is the moment when we see love as it truly is, is it just a feeling or is it a choice.
There’s a song by Ben Rector called, Note to Self. My favorite line says, “Note to self: keep choosing her. She’s yours and wonderful and forever is a long time to be sad.” The choice to love is one made daily, perhaps even moment by moment. The choice to love recognizes that with each discovery comes the question, “Do you love me now?” How you expect that question to be answered is incredibly telling as to the status of your relationship.
Is your relationship based on conditions? I love you when you are amazing, talented and fulfilling to me. But, when you disappoint my expectations, show weakness or no longer meet my needs then my love for you stops.
Or, is your relationship built on the decision to love? I love you because I’ve chosen to, I’ve committed to it. That means that my love for you is not subject to your actions but my choice, and I choose you. I choose you in your strength and in your weakness. I choose you in your success and in your failure. I choose you in your abundance and in your lack. This is the kind of love that casts out fear. This love encourages discovery, it seeks revelation, it creates a safe place for exposure. Because, while the question may be asked, “Do you love me now?”, the expected answer isn’t actually being questioned – simply confirmed.
Now, this is not to say that love is some pushover that allows abuse and ignores issues. No, love is often quite confrontational. Love confronts mindsets and actions that damage the one it adores. Love works to bring healing to hurts and restoration to pain. Love is the force that transforms brokenness into wholeness. Love creates an atmosphere that is safe to be real and exposed, where the response to the question, “Do you love me now?” is unquestionably, “Yes”, and in which the reassured conclusion is satisfyingly, “Good.”