If you’re anything like me, you’re inspired by a great love story. And you just may have been one of the 2.3 million people who watched Jeremy and Audrey Roloff share their vows and their commitment to live the rest of their lives with each other on TLC’s hit show, Little People, Big World. But what you might not know is that, as beautiful as Jeremy and Audrey’s wedding was, their journey to “I Do” was filled with heart-aching challenges. Their tender love story will powerfully awaken you to write your own rare kind of love story—the kind of love letter life that just keeps falling more deeply into a sacred intimacy. It’s a grace to welcome the Roloffs to the front porch today…
Audrey and I are continuing to learn that if one of us loves something that falls in line with our shared values, then there must be something in it to love.
And when the other is willing to find whatever there is in it to love, we get to experience a greater closeness and unity.
Finding new things to love about each other is a gift that keeps on giving.
It keeps alive the growing excitement of discovery as we not only unearth more to love about each other but fall deeper in love in the process.
We believe that bridging the gap of separateness with strands of unity will continue to draw us closer together and that weeding out things that separate us will deepen our love.
Pre-marriage, we tried to close the gaps by sharing in our hobbies and interests.
After marriage, we continue to do this in other areas as well—our failures, victories, responsibilities, and even the words we use.
For example, in our house, it’s my job to take out the trash. However, when I sometimes forget, Audrey gets frustrated and points out my fault. Likewise, I get frustrated with Audrey when we’re running late because she’s taking too long to get ready. I blame our tardiness on her.
We’ve been working on shifting the way we talk about these types of situations by using “we” instead of “you.”
We call it “we shifting.” So instead of saying, “Jer, you forgot to take out the trash,” Audrey says, “Jer, we forgot to take out the trash.” And instead of saying, “Auj was running late,” I say, “We are running late.”
It may seem like a small thing, but this simple change shifts the atmosphere and our attitudes from accusation to alliance and from separateness to togetherness.
If we are indeed “one flesh,” as Scripture proclaims we are, then we want to live into that in every way we can. We become one when we say “I do,” but we also continue to become one through daily actions and words that proclaim “we do.”
Sheldon and Davy Vanauken had a theory that “the killer of love is creeping separateness.” If sharing builds a thousand strands of unity that bind us together, it only makes sense that a thousand strands of separateness builds distance.
It came as a bit of a shock that if we could sow closeness, we could also sow distance!
Audrey and I had been forced to experience what physical distance does to love. Living individual lives, we entered a season of separateness during long distance that turned our flame of love into a smolder. Distance surely is the enemy of love!
We live in a world where genuine love—love that lasts—is hard to find.
Love can be alive one moment and gone the next. We see this in the divorce rate, in broken families, in unfaithful spouses—fill in the blank. Love can flee as impulsively as the feelings do.
We are a culture that chases feelings as the fruit of love, while neglecting to water the tree that produces the fruit. If feelings of love endured on their own accord, we would be seeing different results. However, it is apparent that the feelings of love don’t last without the actions of love—watering the tree.
We believe that the principle of sharing is one good way to water the tree.
I love how author Timothy Keller puts it, “Our culture says that feelings of love are the basis for actions of love. And of course, that can be true. But it is truer to say that actions of love can lead consistently to feelings of love.”
Sheldon and Davy Vanauken discovered what they believed to be the guardian of true love—continual sharing. A lifetime devotion to ongoing discovery and pursuit of one another.
Through continual sharing, they would build a wall of protection around their love.
I don’t know about you, but I just love that. What a brilliant picture of two people desiring to get the most out of their love story.
Sheldon and Davy’s method might not be for you, but there is definitely truth in its application.
Sharing will lead you toward closeness; separateness will move you away from it.
If you’re lobbying for separate lives, you will eventually have them.
The principle of sharing is a mind-set that will save you time in the dating world as you look for a suitable spouse and continue to be a gift that keeps on giving in marriage.
Jeremy Roloff grew up on a 110-acre farm in Helvetia, Oregon, alongside his twin brother and two younger siblings. He grew up filming for a reality television show called Little People, Big World, which has followed his family since he was fourteen years old. Jeremy has a degree in professional photography. Audrey Roloff is a fiery redhead from Portland, Oregon, where her parents taught her to ski before she could walk. Audrey shares life, faith, and family on her blog. She is passionate about motivating women to always believe in the more that is within them, and she spreads this mission through her devotionals and clothing line. The Roloffs founded Beating50Percent, a marriage ministry on a mission to inspire couples to give more to their marriages.
Their new book, A Love Letter Life, shares the Roloffs imperfect, resilient, and inspiring love story. A passionate and persevering story of relatable struggles, hard-learned lessons, practical tips, and devout commitment. In these pages, they encourage you to stop settling for convenient relationships, offer perspective on male and female differences in dating, tackle tough topics like purity, give their nine rules for fighting well, suggest fun ideas for connection in a world of technology, and provide fresh advice on how to intentionally pursue a love story that never ends.
What your heart longs for most—is a love letter life. Hold these pages and fall the way you’ve always wanted. Jeremy and Audrey have vulnerably written their own tender love story that will powerfully awaken you to write your own rare kind of love story—the kind of love letter life that just keeps falling more deeply into a sacred intimacy.
[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]