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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Husbands vs the Children...Part Two

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This post is part two of a previous post, Husbands vs the Children. It is recommended that you read part one before continuing.

PART TWO...

I ended last time stating that the love I feel for my wife is different than the love I have for chocolate, sunsets, and reading. It is also different than the love I feel for my children. While I love our sons with all my heart it is a simple love; they were born and I love them. The love for a child is a gift from God to parents. My sons did not earn my love and they do not need to do anything to retain it. They do not even need to reciprocate it (though that would be sad indeed). The love I feel for my wife, however, I believe to be a more mature love. It began when I chose to open my heart to it. It grew as I chose to allow it. It blossomed as I chose to nurture it. It flourishes as I embrace it and the tighter the embrace the faster and stronger it grows. The point is that I chose and continue to choose to love my wife. I am not obligated to do so and while my wife is easy to love it is not always easy to protect our love. It is something that we work on each day and pray for each night. It is a more mature form of love. It is something that as children we were not capable of because we did not have the ability to comprehend what the love between husband and wife entailed; we were not yet mature enough. Simply put, it is the choice to love that gives our love for our spouse the ability to be the greatest love we feel. If, like Ms. Shaw, we are unsure who we love more, our spouse or the children, it is because we have not yet made the choice to love our spouse more than our children.

Now, don't get me wrong. Loving a child is a wonderful thing that can teach us many things. I am in no way demeaning that. What I am saying is simply that the love between husband and wife has an infinite ability to grow if the choice is made to pursue it.

The fundamental difference between the love for a child and the love for a spouse is found in the choice that we make to love our spouses. Making the choice to open our hearts to love is what is uplifting about the love between a husband and wife, and because love is a gift from God doing so brings us closer to Him. In response to the question Kristin Shaw raised, I declare that for me the love I have for my wife is far greater than the love I have for my children because I choose to love her. And she feels the same way.

I've shared what I think. I would love to hear what you think. Please tell me. :)

14 comments:

  1. Hi Tyson,

    Totally agree! Love of a spouse and love of child is different. I agree that we choose to love our spouse. For a child's love, especially a mother, the love is different. As a mom, we've carried a child for 9 months, therefore a bond starts from there. I call it a nurturing love. Thanks for sharing this with us @ The Show Off Blog Party!

    Jessica
    The Wondering Brain

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  2. Nurturing love is a great name for it and the bond does start as soon as the woman knows she's expecting. It amazes me that with each child as soon as my wife knows we're expecting she immediately loves the little one. I marvel at her ability to do so. The only conclusion I can come to is that the love comes from God. Thanks Jessica!

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  3. Wow! This is an awesome post, Tyson! I've spent a great deal of time studying the art of being happily married -no matter what's going on externally- and interviewed so many happily married 25-plus years. I'm yet to find a couple who doesn't believe the same.

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    1. I think it's something that we know inherently but find too simple intellectually so we over think it and get confused. Eventually, when our marriages have survived (hopefully thrived) long enough we realize that the key is putting each other first and loving each other like crazy. I'm glad your research and interviews agree with me. Thanks for your comment Fawn. I'm always grateful for your thoughtful comments.

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  4. Found you through HWC link up. You are so right, loving your spouse is a choice every day! Nice post!

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    1. Loving your spouse is a choice we need to make everyday and we need to make sure that we also make the choice to make them #1 each day too. If they aren't we won't dedicate adequate time and/or energy to our marriages and thereby won't enjoy the joy of uplifting love. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Well spoken, I appreciate your insight

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  6. Love for children is purer, I think, because it is not tied to performance. Our love for our spouse often get tangled with our expectations. http://choosetotrust.com/2012/04/where-do-expectations-come-from/

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    1. While I agree that our love for our children is pure it is also simple. We love them, a lot, that't it. With our spouse our expectations do get "tangled" with our love and as we work together and grow together that tangling draws us closer together. I read a quote recently about hundreds of tiny threads holding a marriage together and I think that's true. Expectations, and living up to them, is one of the many threads that bind us together and grant us an ever increasing capacity to love. Thanks for the comment Scott! I appreciate you taking the time to share.

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  7. Very interesting, Tyson. I've not boiled it down and looked at the differences with the lens you have here. I think it's very thought-provoking. I do agree and see that the love between a husband and wife has great potential because of our "choices" to love all along the way. I do feel that as an older parent, I've had some really rocky times with one of my sons and have had to choose to love him as well--making my relationship with him perhaps stronger and deeper in some ways than compared to my love for my other sons. But I would hesitate to say I love him more than my other sons too. Hmmm, love is this elusive feeling that is so very tied to our choices. Great thoughts here and thanks so much for linking them to Wedded Wed, my friend.

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    1. Beth I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and I value your friendship and insights. I agree that trials can cause love to grow stronger. I also agree that while we love our children equally we love them differently and love different things about each one. I believe that it is this way with God, we are His children and He loves all of us equally but in different ways and for different reasons. Having children gives us a glimpse of what He feels for us. However, it is still a love that isn't earned. We didn't earn it but we get it anyway. Our children don't earn our love but we give it anyway. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences Beth. You're awesome!

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  9. When I was very little, I asked my grandmother who she loved the most, thinking that the answer would be me. Without hesitating, she told me that she loved grandpa the most. I was surprised and kept asking her if she loved him more than my mother, more than my aunt, more than me. Always the answer was yes. She was incredibly gentle throughout my line of questioning and explained to me that he was the love of her life. I was too young then to understand the difference between romantic love and familial love, but I always remembered this. I also remember my grandparents sitting next to each other on the couch, holding hands and singing tunes together absentmindedly well into their 80s.
    I loved your article even though i am single.

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