Wow! This title sounds as romantic as a guy who gets his wife Tupperware for their anniversary. (No offense to anyone who’s done that.) In my last post I started a series called “True Love is…”, and my goal is to help us look at the unconventional side of love, but to say true love is monotonous seems to be going a little too far doesn’t it? It almost seems degrading. This is because we often see monotony and boredom as synonymous terms. While there may be an element of accuracy to that, I don’t believe boredom accurately captures the full meaning of monotony.
Monotony simply refers to a routine, something you do every day, often without even thinking about it. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed, and going to work are all monotonous tasks. However, the monotony of the task in no way devalues or deemphasizes the importance of it. So, to say that true love is monotonous in no way undermines its worth; it simply means that our routines are consistent with our choice to love.
Before Carrie and I got married, I lived alone and never locked my doors when I was home; it just wasn’t something I thought to do. Carrie, on the other hand, could not rest easy unless she was certain that every locking mechanism on the door was properly engaged. In our first few months of marriage (and occasionally, even to this day) as we lay in bed, I’d find my comfortable position and begin the joyful journey into the land of sleep. Just as I reached the edge of that glorious land, I was inhumanely and violently dragged away from it with the question, “Did you lock the front door?”
“I think so.”
“Can you check?”
Check? Why? We live out in the middle of nowhere. What difference does it make if the door is locked? “Sure,” I’d say with a sigh and a groan.
Even now (nearly 11 years later), I find that I have forgotten to lock one of the doors when I do my nightly rounds. I am pretty well in the habit of locking the doors behind me, but I go through at night just to make sure. Why? Because I’m paranoid and afraid? Of course not, I still couldn’t care less if the doors were locked, except for the safety of my family. I don’t lock the doors every night for myself, it’s a monotonous task I’ve undertaken for all these years to show my wife that I love her. There is nothing romantic about it at all, but if I were to tell her that I’m no longer going to check the doors at night and that if she’s so worried about it, she can do it; what message would that send to her? That I don’t love her enough to perform the simple task of checking the locks on the doors. Sometimes it isn’t the act itself, but rather the absence of the act that speaks volumes.
In a previous post titled, “Appreciating the Unappreciated”, I told about one of Carrie’s monotonous acts of love that stopped me in my tracks (you’ll have to click on the link and read the post to see what it was). I was humbled, and my heart was softened by what I saw.
There is nothing attractive about potting soil, fertilizer or water. People don’t drive slowly by your house to admire the dirt in your flower beds. But without the soil, and without the monotonous tasks of fertilizing and watering, there would be no attractive flowers for onlookers to admire.
Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another,” (ESV). The monotonous tasks and choices we make every day demonstrate our love for God and others. They may not bring us warm fuzzies, but their consistency cultivates the fertile ground in which romantic, exciting, and attractive love can bloom; therefore, they cannot and must not be absent.