I read an article the other day titled “this is what love really looks like.” I’ll be honest, I initially liked this post. Before I had finished reading it, I shamefully considered forwarding it to my husband with the subject line take note. Then I read it all the way through, and I realized I was comparing my husband to what the author had stated a “knight in shining armor should look like” and the more I read it I started to realize that when it comes to love—should— isn’t a word I want attached to it.
The post was about how her husband rescued her at the grocery store with a cart full of groceries when she forgot her credit card, and the only words of admonishment were “you’re not supposed to be grocery shopping, I said I’d go this week.” O-K folks, lets get real, the last time my husband went to the grocery store without me was when I went on a ten day trip without him, and he bought every 10 for $10 item there was at Kroger – if anyone needs soup, pizza rolls, or frozen pizza we have plenty.
She went on to list a few other things “love looks like.” He made coffee every morning, he made late night milk runs for cereal in the morning, he packed everyone’s lunches, helped with homework, and did dishes so his wife could watch her favorite tv show. The more I read it, the more irritated I got.
Every time I read the phrase “this is what love looks like” I would shake my head back and forth and say no, no, NO.
Love doesn’t look like THIS. Because love is different for every single person. There is no ONE way love should look.
If I had a cart load of groceries and no credit card and called my husband, he’d probably tell me to put back all the frozen goods because it’s gonna be a while. When you are in a tractor, or a semi you don’t have the luxury of leaving whenever you want.
My husband doesn’t make coffee, I do. Every morning. Why? Because I enjoy knowing he’ll have a warm cup of coffee first thing in the morning because he worked his butt off the night before, and is going to be up at the crack of dawn to do it all over again.
If we run out of milk before I go to the grocery store, he says “eat eggs for breakfast, there’s plenty in the chicken coop.” You want to know what love looks like to me? It’s him going to get those eggs from the chicken coop because the last time I did, I got karate chopped in the rear-end by an angry rooster.
He doesn’t pack lunches, he never has. That’s alright with me. He gags at half the healthy things I pack for myself, and I enjoy writing embarrassing notes on my daughters napkins.
He does dishes every so often, usually enough time passes between the last time he did it that I forget how much I love the view of him standing over the sink, and I get really excited and put my arms around his waist and give him little kisses on his neck and say you’re the best husband ever. I enjoy getting to do that. If he did dishes every night, well I wouldn’t notice this small act of kindness now would I?
The thing is, love isn’t about what my husband does. It’s about what we’ve been through, the tough nights, the crossroads, the tears we’ve wiped off of each others cheek, the moments that have changed us, the daily choice we make to love even when it’s hard.
Even when my knight in shining armor does things differently than others. If my husband came to my rescue all the time, made coffee every morning, did the dishes every night it wouldn’t make me love him anymore than I already do.
Because I didn’t fall in love with a man that caters to my every need, I fell in love with a man that works his butt off every single day, who despite how many hours he’s worked still walks in the door with a smile on his face, ready to plant a kiss on my forehead. And if his dinner is cold, he still says it taste’s amazing – now THAT is love.
So listen up, young one. Love looks different for everybody. Don’t ever compare your love to someone else’s. There is a person out there that is going to love you with all they have, and it will be special in their own way. Maybe it’ll be the kind of love that bails you out at the grocery store, maybe it’ll be the kind of love that lets you vent to them about an article you disagree with when he stops in to say hi before heading back to his tractor.
Either love is yours and that’s the beauty of it.
There is no should in love —and that’s what love really looks like.