Love should come naturally and easily.
If you really love someone it should come naturally.
Being in love feels easy.
This diatribe is very present in our culture. A couple meets, they enjoy being with each other, fall in love and live happily together. The relationship is a natural and easy progression. If they are meant to be together it will be undemanding of them as individuals.
Breastfeeding is also supposed to be natural and easy. Talk to any mom who has attempted breastfeeding, it is not easy or natural. Perhaps after a while, it can feel that way. For me only after a lot of practice between mom and baby was this feeling achieved.
What about when love isn’t easy?
However, it depends somewhat on how one approaches a romantic relationship. On what has been modelled in their own life. Did their parents demonstrate how to handle conflict in a healthy way? Perhaps they’ve been a victim of abuse or trauma and have a skewed view of intimate relationships. It also depends on one’s core beliefs about love. Whether love should be sacrificial and selfless like the example Jesus provides or self serving and undemanding.
Maintaining a close intimate relationship is not easy or natural. It takes perseverance, intentionality and prayerful help from the Holy Spirit.
The Meaning of Marriage
I’m far from an expert on marriage. Recently I started reading the Meaning of Marriage and it got me thinking about the concept of love being something that we think should come easy.
In my short time of being married, I have been awoken to the tremendous effort it takes to maintain a healthy relationship. I’m still learning and growing and trying to understand what that even means.
Nothing about it feels natural or easy. For example, communicating my feelings is hard for me. I express myself far better in writing and after contemplation. That being said if I never say anything to my husband resentment builds up in me. I have to fight against my natural tendencies to cultivate a good relationship. And It’s not easy.
Yet the rewards it brings in intimacy is worth it. I would define intimacy as the feeling of being connected, known and loved.
What natural tendencies are you fighting against that are hindering you from developing deeper? Perhaps you are timid to pursue friendships because it’s easier to stay home and watch Netflix? Maybe you are scared to start a blog because you fear being criticized.
Whatever it is I hope this is the year you push past the hard and unnatural roadblocks to pursue what will yield great joy.