I've come across a lot of people who thought that they had a so called trophy spouse. They were quick to brag about how charming, good looking, or successful their husband/wife was. Even as a youngster, I knew those folks were headed for some rough times. I liken the mentality of people who describe their love for their spouses based upon fleeting characteristics to a situation I encountered in elementary school. In fifth grade, I took a trip to Sam's Club (well, to be accurate, it was Pace back then) with my grandparents. I found a huge can of the gum called Tongue Splashers. It was all the rage at Cambridge Springs Elementary. I was able to negotiate my grandparents into buying me a can. Okay, it wasn't negotiating, it was begging, but the point is, I walked out of the store with the paint can full of gum and a giant smile on my face.
To make a long story short, I found out quickly that I made some new "friends" by providing them with this whimsical bubble gum. Every day these new friends of mine would fight each other off to sit next to me in lunch, to be on my kickball team at recess, and basically to be around me any opportunity that they could. They'd argue amongst themselves for the title of being best friend. They'd pass me notes in class. They'd win me over by bringing me in a Ken Griffey Jr.cards. For a few weeks, I felt like I was king. For a few weeks, this process worked well and seemed rather symbiotic. Soon, however, my stash of gum ran out, and my pockets no longer overflowed with fruity wonder. And just like that, all of the attention and affection ran dry. No more rushing to sit next to me, no more Griffey cards, no more note passing, no more being picked first for kickball.
That was a hard lesson to learn, but it did stick with me. Though I often find myself giving my time, energies, and resources to gain approval, I've matured in my understanding, and realize that will always be temporary. Same goes with love. When we build our affections upon things other than Biblical love and devotion, once those things disappear, our love begins to vanish. It's not really even accurate to call a love like that love. You see, love is selfless, so when we place expectations and parameters upon it, it no longer meets the definitions of love. I have witnessed many relationships spoiled and completely destroyed by unmet expectations.
Buy me some Splashers, please!