As a clean romance author, I believe in and write about happily ever after stories. My own prince charming and I live out a “divine romance.” I am often asked if the dream is possible for everyone. My answer is two-fold: a resounding yes, and … are you willing to pay the cost involved?

Think back to every great love story you know. Sacrifice, heroism, selflessness, vulnerability and other traits are always involved. Deep, abiding love will cost you everything, but the reward is beyond measure.

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Stephanie Guerrero

What would you sacrifice for a blissful, devoted love? I meet so many who want the benefits of love without the responsibility. A young woman I once mentored muttered, “Well, whoever I end up with is gonna have to take me the way I am!”

My response to such a statement? Are you willing to love your guy just the way he is? Do you love him enough to work on having a caring heart, a beautiful smile? Do you love him enough to comb your hair and get out of your pajamas?

Many guys and girls tell me that they want what my husband and I have. This week, my husband asked to open our home to a couple of new families in our community for dinner. We are both very busy people. I teach seventh grade, lead the children’s and women’s ministries at our church, write novels, volunteer in a number of ways and juggled schedules and needs for our household of six. He juggles many things as well.

Knowing my busy week, my husband volunteered to order and pick up the meal. When I finally arrived home, he gave me a kiss on his way to another meeting, told me he’d already set the table and would be home soon to help!

My willingness to serve him and others by opening our home and making it lovely, and his willingness to serve me by providing dinner and help out created a warm environment for our guests and a fist-bumping moment as a couple. We loved. We both sacrificed. Joy, blessing, harmony and a few new friends are the result.

I’ve heard people of all ages wonder how they’ve ended up in lackluster relationship with their polar opposite when they dreamed of the fairy tale. What do you do when only one is working at love? Do you give up, throw up your hands and decide to settle? Do you quit? Is romance still possible?

These are tough questions. I don’t know your situation, and there are moments in this broken world where a relationship is truly “over.” Are you investing in your relationship in little moment by moment ways? When is the last time you ran to the door for a quick kiss goodbye, brought home his or her favorite milkshake just because, did the dishes when you both were tired, gave a shoulder rub after tough day, offered forgiveness and a kind answer when it’s the last thing you wanted to do?

I will add one final thought from the heart. It is extremely difficult to continually give out when nothing is pouring back in to refill the tank of your own heart. I need a source of continual love pouring into my life when I’m constantly pouring out, yet I can’t rely on my spouse to keep it filled. He needs his heart filled, too.

Discovering a meaningful love from the Creator God is vital. If you have never found this well-spring of living water, seek Jesus Christ out today, and let him be the source of love in your life who fills you to overflowing and spills out on those around you. I pray your life is filled with the love of Christ and many others. There is always hope for love!

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(Stephanie Guerrero is a local author of 10 novels. Her pastor husband of 27 years and their four children make “living the adventure” a joy.)

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