Today I am so thankful for, as King Solomon put it:
"the one my heart loves" (Song of Solomon 3:4)
This is precisely what my sociology professor was talking about when he said zero-sum conflicts. In short, we have had to work through situations where whatever is gained by one side is lost by the other. Conflicts where the solution requires one of us to relinquish our deeply held preferences, and sometimes values and beliefs, to the other. One where there is no compromise. We have to choose either his "way," or mine. Experiencing these types of conflicts and still choosing to be together and actively loving one another. This requires a dying-to-self sort of love. A love that can only be given because it has been received from the One who is Love itself. I so wish this receiving and giving came naturally for me, or even that I could do it with grace and compassion. But I am glad that the man I married often models that for me.
I don't like that he wakes up before the sun has even risen, but I do appreciate that he makes that effort to spend time each day praying, meditating on, and studying God's Word. I am grateful that his commitment to following Jesus makes him a gracious and compassionate leader for our family. His love for God that often results in an unwavering obedience to His commands, makes him a leader I can easily trust, even if it means a loss for me in our zero-sum conflicts. Because in the end, his desire for us, for me, for him, and for our girls, is congruent with God's desires for us.
In the photo below we were actually having a heated discussion due to a conflict. Somehow going through those frustrating moments and coming out of it still choosing to love one another makes our marriage that much richer. My husband, I am thankful for you--who you are, and who God is molding you into. You are the one my heart loves.