By Kenneth Stepp
What a strange title, I’ll protect you. What does that mean? Yesterday and today I shared some back and forth emails with my ex wife. We’ve been divorced 6 1/2 years now and I still care about her. She is getting ready to sell her house and downsize a bit. I’m advising her on the do’s and don’ts of executing that. She said, I still want a fenced yard and a security system. I offered to help with both.
I hear horror stories from people about their exes, she and I spent decades together, raising kids, building our lives, and basically just doing life together. I will always love her, I just can’t live with her any longer. That is a sad statement to me. She was the center of my world for 24 many years. How could I not help her? I have always been the provider protector kind of man. I protect what and who I love at all cost. After I moved out she told me how scared she was living without me in the house. I faced the opposite problem. I was a man without a purpose. She and I both had to evolve out of these issues and have.
Purpose for me has always been having someone to take care of. To provide for, to protect, to do things with, and to do things for. Finding someone who wants this should be easy but hasn’t been for me. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. Maybe I’m not ready for a permanent relationship. Having had my heart strings tugged in so many different directions over the past 6 1/2 years of being single has taken its toll on me. I know so many on this journey that are simply battle weary.
Meeting new people after a while can become cumbersome and awkward. Or worse, routine. Almost the feeling you get when you walk into work every day. Not that excited feeling you hope for when meeting someone new. It’s more of that, I have to do this to get to the next step, kind of thing. And let’s face it. Having to do something feels much different than wanting to do something. It’s why I’ve been single 6 1/2 years, but have taken over three years of that time off from dating. Have you ever taken a break? Maybe forever will find us while we’re not looking…
“She always thought she needed someone to love when all she really needed to do was love the world and let love find her in its time and in its way.”
― Kate McGahan
I’m not sure why I have been thinking back on when I was married lately. Those were amazing times for the most part. We made life work well. Well, until we didn’t. Love lasts, even when the relationship doesn’t. Today, until someone takes my place, I’ll still stand guard, I’ll still be her protector. Love does that. A man does that. Although the last few years have have strained our relationship, she still doesn’t have to wonder if I’d still stand up for her. Love, in my opinion, protects, serves, and does for the subject of its affections. Love gives tremendous motivation to take care of someone. Love creates in us, purpose. Something all humans need to live a complete life. Love compels us to act.
Think of what we believe about God. God is love. I happen to believe this is true. How does God act? He serves, protects, cares for, and many believe, He watches over us daily. He shows us in deeds what love looks like. If someone ever tells you they love you. Filter it through God’s example. You will rule out many before finding real love. I have people in my life that I truly do love. I’d lay my life down for any of them. To love is the only real way we can emulate God. Spread it around lavishly… Be God like when you get the chance.
“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely. … He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf