There are two secrets to a successful
marriage: 1) Pick the right mate. 2) Be the right mate. Love is not a feeling; it's a decision. It's not about “You make me feel good”, but about “I am committed to you because I respect and admire you. I want to be more like you. You are someone I can trust. You will make a great parent, friend, and partner.” Love is not about sharing a generic “I love you,” but about being specific, such as, "Honey, I admire your dedication to our family, what a great mother (father) you are!” Or, “Thank you for working so hard to help pay all our bills.”
In expressing our love, words like “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” play an important role, but they always go with action. We prove our love by lessening the burden of our partner by helping with family chores and responsibilities. But it’s about volunteering our services without being asked. And when problems arise, love always finds a way, but indifference finds an excuse.
Also, keep your relationship sparkling with humor. For example, here is a delightful description of what it’s like to be in love, written by poet, author, and award winning journalist Judith Viorst:
“Infatuation is when you think that he's as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Bill Gates, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Connors. Love is when you realize that he's as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Bill Gates, as athletic as Henry Kissinger, and nothing like Robert Redford — but you'll take him anyway.”
Getting serious again, yes, we want to be a fountain of love for all those we meet, but love begins at home and its importance should never be underestimated. Here’s a story that was reported elsewhere, “A man approached Mother Teresa and said, ‘Mother, I want to do something great for God, but I don't know what. Should I start a school, be a missionary in a foreign land, build up a charitable agency?’ He had great visions. Mother Teresa looked at him closely, with kindness, and responded: ‘What you need to do is make sure that no one in your family goes unloved.’”
One of the small things we can do with great love is to tell our friends and family members exactly how much they mean to us. Far too many times the words are left unsaid, left until it is too late to say them. Don’t let this happen to you, or if it already has, don’t let it happen again.
Over a hundred years ago, an unknown author left us with a quotation that has inspired countless numbers of people over the years. Whether it’s your first or one hundredth time to see it, let it inspire you to action. “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”