I had a busy day yesterday and missed the post. I also realized that while the ideas are a little different between days 10 and 11, the actual challenges are roughly the same: Do something unexpected like a chore, errand, etc. (day 10). Do something that meets a need (lists help w/ housework, foot massage—day 11).
I gave a foot massage on day 10 and cooked dinner last night. Of course, since I’m awesome, those two things aren’t completely unexpected. Actually, the foot rub on the couch for a more extended period was a little different.
Let’s forget about the dares/challenges. Let’s talk ideas.
The question about whether I love you unconditional or cherish you is a lot more involved than foot rubs, clothes folding, and trips to the market.
Unconditional love—Agape Love in church circles—indicates a love that isn’t dependent on friendship and erotic love necessarily. Even if we aren’t feeling particularly affectionate, do I still love and care for you? Even when you’re having ‘unlovable’ moments (that NEVER happens!), do I still treat you kindly and tenderly and with care?
Agape is choice. It’s not even considering ways out. It’s not dependent on my needs getting met (although I’d argue that a marriage requires that needs be shared and met).
I face everyday knowing that I’ve chosen to love and cherish you….
I think that this takes the unconditional thing and gives it personality and tenderness. Not only do I care about you and want the best for you, but I cherish you—your personality, your worth, your mind, your body, your soul. I appreciate and cherish these things.
Cherishing also indicates protection. I protect you and your heart. That should be a priority of mine. It should never leave me.
I ask your forgiveness for those times I’ve not made you feel cherished, and I know that there have been some. I ask you to bear with me as I get better at this.
The writers talk about the idea that the husband and wife are one, ‘that your spouse is as much a part of you as your hand, your eye, or your heart.’ If you’re a part of me, then I owe it not only to you but to us and me to treat you kindly and protectively and gently.
Day 12 Prep: “Love Let’s the Other Win” What? No way! (Jas 3:17) I love a line in this that might not be directly related to winning or not winning an argument: “Give their words full weight.” Meaning: Take your spouse’s words seriously. Listen. Hear. Don’t fast forward to your turn to speak.
- The Dare: Willingly bend your will to give in to your spouse in an area of disagreement. Put their preference first.
Question: Do you (reader, not my wife) have a hard time loving unconditionally? Has divorce always been an option in case needs aren’t met?