There's an old Johnny Lee song that talks about looking for love in all the wrong places. When marriage gets tough, there's a temptation to go looking for love in some terribly wrong places. See if these sound familiar to you or a *ahem* friend you know...
Pornography - the trade of a 3-D living, human being for some 2-D fantasy. And while it's devastatingly rampant among men, women are now in its clutches as well. Fifty Shades of Gray, anyone? And in case you think it's outside the church, 34% of churchgoing women admit to intentionally visiting a porn site in the past month (that's 1 of 3, in case your math is bad).
People - here the trade is for a real person, somehow believing that the grass is greener on their side of the fence. It can take many forms, including emotional attachment and the fantasy of "I wish I had that person as my spouse." That, of course, leads to physical detachment from the spouse and opens the door for all sorts of bad.
Coexistence - the trade of relationship for shared space. This feels like roommates rather than love. Habits grate on nerves, inconsiderate actions or words are expected and don't cause wounds anymore, and two different agendas and itineraries determine activities. As a pastor, I've seen some empty-nesters struggle with this.
None of these "wrong places" have to be as dire as I described them. But they point to the same problem: you don't fall in and out of love. You choose to love or not to love. The same choice has to be made in every relationship. Do I love or not love? We are under a western, romantic notion that love is some crazy emotion. I'm all for the emotion when it's there - that makes the choice that much easier. But when it's not, it's still a choice to love or not love.
Ed Sheeran has a song out right now that points to this. It's a solid song - the kind that will want you to grab your honey and dance, then kiss her on the lips like you haven't done so in a while. The closing lyric of the chorus is an important one: we found love right where we are.
Where else will you find love except right where you are? It's a choice. It's in your marriage or in your relationship with your child or loved one that you find love.