Letters to My Daughters – Part 5: Love

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

Dear Asyen and Maya,

Here it goes.. the boy talk.  I am sure you are thinking “what more can she say?  She already talks about this subject too much.”  (I bet Asyen is even rolling her eyes right now!)  But this is not about boys, this is about LOVE (and yes, there is a difference.)  I want you to know about love and finding a husband.

Well, I mis-spoke.  A husband should find you.  But I want you to be able to discern if the man that says he wants to marry you is really your husband.  And you can’t discuss marriage without first talking about love.  So let’s just jump right into it.

1.  Falling in like, lust, and a version of love is easy but staying in love is a choice.  Don’t let the butterflies in your stomach tell you that you are in love. That isn’t love.  That could be infatuation, lust, or gas.  But love is “I trust you with all of me and even when I don’t like you, can’t stand the sight of you, and want to walk away from you, I will choose to love you because hurting you hurts me.”  Until you get to this point in your relationship then you aren’t truly in love.

2.  Sex is great.  I am not going to lie and say “sex sucks” just to keep you from having sex.  Nope.  Not gonna do it.  Sex is AMAZING!  But let me explain it to you this way.  Imagine you are a trapeze artist in a circus.  You have climbed up the rope and you see your partner swinging toward you.  You are nervous and excited.  You reach out your hand and swing with your partner.  Now, if it is with the right person – a committed married relationship – you will keep swinging higher and higher.  You will turn tricks and flips because you trust that your partner will always catch you.  But if you are with the wrong partner, you will never get comfortable enough to let go and flip.  You will never find your rhythm and your partner can drop you.  And if your partner drops you, the effects can be emotionally devastating.

3.  You have to make sure that the man you marry has the following traits:
A.  He has to love God.  Your husband must love God and not be afraid to pray for and over you and the entire house.  Ask yourself this one question: “if I were dying, would I trust this man to pray over me?”  If the answer is “no,” then he isn’t your husband.

B.  You want a spouse that has vision  – both personally and collectively.  He has to have a plan and not be afraid to work the plan.

C.  You want a spouse that has a work ethic.  Will he work for the betterment of the household?  Can you trust him to hold down a job?

D.  You want a spouse that can balance a budget.  Can you work together and manage the finances?

E.  You want a spouse that you can have fun with.  Can you hang out with your spouse?  Can you giggle with your spouse?  Do you have fun together?  Do you like being around each other?

4.  Having standards is not the same as having a list.  Don’t be a woman that has a superficial list of traits that you want your spouse to have.  Things like “he has to be 6 ft tall and drive a Bentley” mean very little when they are 80 and in a hospital bed.  You can have standards – He must be honest, loving, kind – without being superficial.

5.  Don’t look for anything in a mate that you yourself don’t bring to the table.  I hate when people say “the man I marry must have a six pack and make at least $100-thousand” when they don’t make $20-thousand and are obese.  You want to be equally yoked.

6.  Finally – well, finally for tonight;  any love you are going to share with another person has to start with the love you have for yourself.  Love you.  Be complete by yourself.  The Word says you are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”  It doesn’t say youwill be fearful and wonderful when you find Mr. Right.  It means that you right now by yourself are the bomb, or the jam, or whatever the hot word is when you read this.

Remember, I love more than you know!  (and my standard disclaimer: I have the option to add more later.)

Love you both,

Neysa Ellery Taylor is an integral part of the writing team here at Blackloveandmarriage.com. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work atMyriadthatisme.blogspot.com