I admit it.
My wife and I still pass love notes to each other. Well really it’s just one note – the same note to be exact – back and forth, over and over again, to each other.
And I think it’s awesome.
It all started with a quick “I Love You” she wrote on a piece of notepad paper and put in my lunch box one night after I went to bed. I found it the next day and proceeded to give it back to her, hidden someplace for her to find by surprise. She did and then hid it back on me. Game on.
You never know where the note will turn up. So far it’s been in lunch boxes, sock drawers, bathrobe sleeves, taped to steering wheel in my truck, taped to the bottle of laundry detergent in the laundry cabinet (ok so maybe that wasn’t my best hiding spot in hindsight) in the lazy Susan with the peanut butter or with my morning tea bags and a whole lot of other places in between. There are no rules on when and where you have to return the note, in fact the only way you really know it was found is when you find it back yourself as we rarely acknowledge that we have found it. I can’t speak for my wife but I am constantly thinking and searching for new places to hide the note in, each time trying to top the last location. A battle of mastermind wits to hide and sleuth it out.
While our note passing may be just a simple little game between us, it does serve a much larger and important role. Reminding each of us that we love each other.
“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (The Message)
“I Love You” is so easy to say, or is it? It’s even harder to express particularly with consistent sincerity. Particularly a Christ based love. The kind of love that sees others (including our spouse) with the kind of eyes that Christ views them. A view that can see through them and still love them anyway knowing that they can do the same back to you. The view with the history, the faults, the ups and the downs, highs and lows, the proverbial good, bad and ugly. You know, the reality of real life and love.
Marriage is complicated. After 21 years I am hardly any expert but as I’ve written before I can say that a marriage with Christ as its common denominator is far better situated to face the ups and downs that come with the territory. A Christ centered relationship is one that is built by very definition on love.
And love is the trump card that beats all, as The Voice translations says “Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what” (verse 7).
Love endures no matter what.
That’s something worth writing down and taking note of. Maybe even passing that note to someone you love.