What Love Looks Like

(Love) “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

I Corinthians 13: 7 (NIV)


By the time you read this, I’ll have been married for close to sixteen years. When we first starting dating, my husband was amazing at remembering the details. He would listen when I talked and then would surprise me later with something small to let me know he cared about the things that make me happy. Flowers, CDs, a homemade sweatshirt with our picture and favorite saying on it …all things that showed me he heard my heart.



Fast forward to 2014…as with any couple that has been married a significant amount of time, we’ve experienced life. Ups and downs, highs and lows…we all have them. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And, when life occurs, there are two choices: buckling up and hanging on tight or getting out of the car.

Not only has my husband buckled up, he’s in the driver’s seat. He leads our family with the right combination of grace and strength. He shows our kids (and me) he’s dependable, trustworthy, and willing to sacrifice for our greater good. Most importantly, he’s present for life’s messes. And, life can get real messy.

This past summer, we had a garage sale. The first day of the sale, our dog, Max, was sick. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him, but determined it was one of two things. He had gotten into the garbage the night before (evidence strewn about the kitchen) and I wondered if he had eaten the raw chicken fat or he was having problems with his arthritis. We went to bed Friday night with Max seeming to be much better. I thanked God that things were improving and looked forward to a much needed sleep.

Saturday morning arrived…and he wasn’t better. We woke up the evidence of that statement In. One. Long. Trail. (and then some). Not what we needed when people were expected to arrive in two hours to buy things that we still had to set up.

I groaned outwardly and a little loudly. Not Bill. First, he went outside and set up for the sale, assigning age appropriate jobs to the kids to help out. Then, wordlessly, he worked on first scrubbing with his hands, then meticulously using the carpet cleaner for almost three hours to get our house disinfected and livable again. Without. One. Word. Of. Complaint.



That’s the way my husband leads our family. Through example. He doesn’t ask anyone to do anything he isn’t willing to first do himself. He keeps the tough jobs for himself and assigns life-stretching jobs to our kids. He looks at life through the lens of Christ and tries to follow His example on a daily basis.



As much as I love the flowers and the CDs and the little things that he still does for me on a regular basis eighteen years after we first met, I have to say, it’s him buckling up in the driver’s seat of this sometimes crazy life we live in that I admire the most. Because, my friend, at the end of the day, I find that’s what love really looks like.

© Cheri Swalwell 2014

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