God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. --Romans 5:8
Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse- something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on 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.
Has your love in the past been based on your spouse's attributes and behavior, or on your commitment? How can you continue to show love when it's not returned in a way you hoped for?
Wow... This was one of the most powerful lessons so far for me. The book asks you to think about the reasons you love your spouse. Then is asks "but what if over the course of years, your wife or husband stopped being every one of those things? Would you still love them? The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.
This unconditional love is called Agape. My immediate thought was, I am not God- I am only a human. How can I have this type of love? The book answered my question by stating that this love can does not come from within, it can only come from God. We have to be willing to receive it from Him and share it with our spouse.
So, for today's dare, I decided to make Havie lunch. He normally makes his own lunch and for times sake, he has been eating peanut butter and jelly lately. I made up his favorite chicken salad and packed him lots of goodies. I wrote him a note to go in his lunch (thanks Britt and Tara!) This gave him a few more minutes to sleep.
He was very suspicious. It is so interesting how he responds to this stuff! I am taking it all in stride! For too long, my love for him has been based on his attributes. When I was angry or frustrated with him, it was abundantly clear. I have held it all against him. I thought that I was keeping myself from being taken advantage of when really I was just being incredibly selfish.
It is going to take time to change those automatic responses. For now, I am acting "as if". I hope that the more I practice these lessons, the more they will become my natural response. I am CHOOSING to love him unconditionally. I am hoping that I will lead by example, but even if he never changes anything about himself- I will be able to love him anyway.