Back in July I invited a few friends and fellow bloggers to write about relationships for me. It gave me a lot to think about to read different people's takes on relationships.
Now for the month of February- the month of love- I am excited to bring on several guest bloggers to talk all about love. No one was given a specific angle or style to write in. Just the word "love" and what that brings to mind. The responses so far have been incredible, and I can't wait to share them with you!
This was already an idea forming in my head (to have people talk about what love means to them) when I found myself reading two articles and one blog post one day that I absolutely disagreed with. The first was by the editor of A Practical Wedding. This is a blog that promotes "practical costs" at a wedding, and also tries to dive into relationship issues. They celebrate all types of relationships/marriages on this site. Sometimes I read it just because I like the pictures of the weddings (really, what girl doesn't?), but most of the time I read it for the train wreck quality. There are so many blog posts on the site by actual brides bragging or whining about how their family didn't support their choices, so they planned the wedding their own way, and the people who "really loved them" came anyway. I'd like to see how many of those marriages (starting out of spite) really work out in the long run.
But I digress...
The editor of the site blogged about how instead of being a self-less wife, you should be a "self-full wife." I had to gag. She goes on and on about how you can't truly be happy in your marriage until you learn to love yourself.
I beg to differ. True, until you know yourself, and learn to love yourself, you cannot truly be free to love another. But learning to love yourself, no matter what Whitney Houston used to sing about it, is NOT the greatest love of all! (And how did that work out for you, Mrs. Bobby Brown?)
What is the greatest love of all? We'll get back to that in a minute.
From that first blog I found links to a NY Times article about "Sustainable Love." Also known as the "me marriage." This time the point was that happy marriages are all about learning more about yourself because of your relationship with the other person.
I think they came close, but still missed the mark on what makes a marriage work.
Last but not least there was this article about "Pining for a Relationship," written by a single woman in her 50's, who basically goes on to say she's fabulous, loves her life, and would never want to get married because she's to self-centered, and hopes more women will choose to be like her.
Oh where do I begin?!
Let's get one thing straight. I'm single, 36 years old, never been married, straight, conservative, embrace and espouse "traditional morals," and haven't been in a significant other relationship in several years. So if you don't think I have any authority to talk about marriage, love, and relationships, I'm not arguing with you.
But here's what I do know. The Greatest Love of All is not loving yourself. But it is found in every great relationship. It is found between friends, between spouses, between parent and child. It is found in a great many places. It is also known as the First Great Commandment.
"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Deuteronomy 6:5
It is only when we learn to love the Lord, and put Him first in ALL that we do, that we are able to love others completely as well.
In the Mormon Church (yes, my church) the marriage ceremony includes language that says the marriage is between the man, woman, and God. And I know there are other religions that teach this as well.
It is learning to accept all that God has given us, and accepting His will, and learning to ask for forgiveness, strength, and more, that creates happier, stronger, and more loving relationships. It is never about asking God to change someone else so that then you can be happy.
There is a lot to say on this subject. And I look forward to discussing it throughout the month to come.
In the meantime, I'm thrilled that we have so many different types of people guest blogging for us! Big name bloggers, first time bloggers, not even a blogger, etc. I've read through many of the stories already, and I am excited at just how different they each will be for you.
I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I do!
And if you would like to be a guest blogger as well, send me a note! I'd be happy to have you!