Today’s dare brought up a lot of memories and feelings for me. It reminded me of the time my husband and I spent that were not happy times but also reminded me of how far God has brought our marriage. Honestly, if we had not gone through those difficult times, we might not be where we are today. We learned firsthand that God can take something that appears broken and give it new life. He did that with us.
It’s not that what we went through was the absolute worst that a married couple can go through, but for us, it was. It was an extremely trying time for us. It seemed like everything was falling apart. Looking back, we can see how Satan had his hands in every bit he could. We started out with phileo (friendship) and eros (sexual) love, and when that was not enough and failed, we were left wondering, ‘Is that all there is?’. It’s not a nice place to be. It’s not where we ever thought we would be, but we were. But God had a plan.
I remember the day clearly. God spoke to me in so many ways that day. Not only did His spirit tell me to show my husband grace, but I was also convicted with finding out how much I truly loved my husband. Did I just love him when times were good, or did our vows truly mean something? What kind of love was I loving him with? Was I loving him the way God loves us, unconditionally with ‘agape’ love? I had to make a choice, even if I did not know the outcome. It was a pivotal moment in the course of our relationship.
I chose love.
Not the hearts and flowers or I think you’re so handsome love, but the kind of love that would accept my husband just as he was. Would I accept him for the man he had become, for who he was right at that moment, or would I keep looking at him and wishing he was like ‘he used to be’?
I believe I made the right choice. God has poured out his blessings on our marriage and each day we get stronger. The best part is that it’s this unconditional love that now is the strongest and it makes the other two stronger as a side benefit. When you love someone out of that type of love, you truly see that person’s heart.
I’m reminded of a quote from my favorite musical, Les Miserables, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” When I think of the love I have for my husband now, that is what I think of.
Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse — something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy his favorite dessert. Fold the laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.
At the end of the day, answer these questions:
1. Has your love in the past been based on your spouse’s attributes and behavior, or on your commitment?
2. How can you continue to show love when it’s not returned in a way you hoped for?
Congratulations! You have completed Day 10! Tomorrow’s dare is Love Cherishes.