I LOVE Being in Love-Don’t You?
by Rhonda Stoppe
I love being in love––don’t you? From the depths of my soul I have had an adoration for my husband that has only grown deeper over the past 30-plus years that we have been married. Is this adoration a result of being married to a perfect man? Of course not––even though as a young bride I was convinced all of my happiness would be realized on the day I said, “I do” because my husband had promised to be my happily-ever-after.
On the day of our wedding, I walked down the aisle clutching my father’s arm because I was trembling. I could hardly believe the day I had dreamt of was finally upon us!
I had spent six months planning our wedding––how long did it take you to plan your wedding? Back when we got married there was no such thing as Pinterest––or even the internet for that matter!
For inspiration, I used to go to the store a purchase each new issue of Bride Magazine. I can remember sitting in the break room where I worked pouring over each issue on my lunch break.
And all I could think of was that I would soon be Mrs. Steven W. Stoppe. (I remember writing my new name over and over again just to establish how I would sign it––did you do that?)
I was so nervous as all eyes turned toward me, the bride, who was wearing the biggest hat-veil thing anyone had ever seen!
…when my eyes met Steve’s, nothing else mattered. It took my breath away to see him looking so incredibly handsome in his white tuxedo. (Big hats for veils and white long-tailed tuxedos were in fashion in the 1980s––so don’t judge me!)
As our eyes met, I remember thinking, I cannot believe I am actually marrying this amazing man. I am going to be the best wife he could ever ask for. Did you feel that way when you got married?
Steve and I wrote our own wedding vows––a real challenge for my not-so-romantically inclined guy. But he was a good sport and he wrote wonderful words promising to love me “as long as God shall give me life”––as Steve so sweetly whispered into my ear that day. As a reminder of our promises to one another, the vows we wrote have hung on a wall in our home ever since that day.*
Steve and I just celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary––35th! On one hand it seems like a lifetime ago that we got married, and on the other hand it seems to have gone by so quickly, which overshadows my vision of what our future will hold––should God bless us with long lives.
Do you remember how excited you were planning your wedding? Do you recall the way you felt as you anticipated being married to your man? In the number of years I have mentored women, it never ceases to amaze me how the cares of life cause wives (and husbands for that matter) to forget much they longed to be married to their spouse.
Once in awhile I come across a couple that truly delights in their spouse. Don’t you wanna be best friends with those people? ––I do.
I want to know that happily-ever-after does exist. I want––no I need––to believe that it is possible with each passing year for couples to grow more happy in their marriages. How about you? Do you have the same longing?
Well, truth is, about half of you reading this article grew up in broken homes. So, you may not have had a good example to follow.
I remember when I met my husband’s parents. They were so in love with each other it was kinda sickening––but sweet, ya know?
Whenever Steve’s father would rattle the ice cubes in his glass, Steve’s mom would jump up and hurry to the kitchen to fetch him another drink. (Did the hair on the back of your neck just bristle? I know mine did, every time I watched this ritual.)
I was appalled at the idea of Steve’s mother serving her husband in such a way. And I vowed to Steve, “I will never” be such a wife”. To which Steve would respond, “I’m not asking you to. That’s just something my mom really loves doing for my dad––she loves it!”
Over the years I grew to know my mother-in-law intimately. She was truly a joyful person who absolutely loved being a wife and mother. She shared with me how her own mom had passed away when she was but 11-years-old, so she never had a mom to guide her past her adolescent years.
My mom-in-law shared with me the story of how she fell madly in love with “Willie” ––as she fondly referred to her husband. And she was beyond blessed when he made her his wife.
Since Eleanore’s own mom died young, her father never had anyone to dote on him. Eleanore was determined she love her husband what she always knew her father had miss out on.
Wow, talk about perspective––right? I learned so very much from my mother-in-law about loving my husband. Her example of delighting in her husband, and looking for ways to show him her love have been a wonderful example for me to follow in my own marriage.
So, how about you step back and maybe I pass this little tid-bit onto you that I learned from Eleanore? Take time to remember how much you longed to be married to your man. And then look for ways to show him how grateful you are to be his wife.
And in case you are wondering––Steve never rattles his glass of ice at me when he is thirsty. But I do jump up from my chair in the morning to keep both of our coffee cups full as we start our day together. And after 35 years of marriage, can I just tell you how very much I enjoy filling that man’s cup to the brim? And I pray God grants us decades more of sharing our mornings over coffee.
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 30 years experience of helping women live life with no regrets.
Rhonda Stoppe’s book MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN is mentoring thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her new book IF MY HUSBAND WOULD CHANGE I’D BE HAPPY-And Other Myths Wives Believe (Harvest House Publishers) is helping countless women build no-regrets marriages. As a pastor’s wife, speaker, and author, Rhonda has helped women to:
- Discover significance and purpose for their lives
- Impact the moral fiber of the next generation by raising children with integrity
- Find victory over people-pleasing
- Experience a No Regrets Marriage
- Build an incredible legacy
- Become more influential than they ever dreamed possible
-Listen to Rhonda’s message: Staying in Love
-Read Rhonda’s Book: IF MY HUSBAND WOULD CHANGE I’D BE HAPPY
*Excerpt from Chapter 1 – IF MY HUSBAND WOULD CHANGE I’D BE HAPPY (Harvest House Publishers)