But what if over the course of years, your wife or husband stopped being every one of those things [that you’d list for why you love him or her]. Would you still love them? p.46
This love dare challenges the idea that we love people solely because of what they bring to the table. Let me be more specific: it challenges the idea that I love you (my wife–remember these are directed specifically to her) primarily because of who you are–your character traits, your looks, your humor, etc.
Love Because of Choice
The upshot from that would be that I only love you when you display those qualities. Or if it’s because of your beauty, if something happened to you to get rid of your classic gorgeousness, then I’d no longer love you. Or if I love you because of your sweetness, then I’d stop loving you if you were being a bear.
The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one beingloved but rather by the one choosing to love. p.46
I wrote before that I love you because I’m called to love you. It feels sterile and unromantic to say that.
Love Isn’t a Whim
But I can guarantee that we will have more opportunities for romance throughout our lives if I love you because I’m called to than if I love you based on the whims of how I’m feeling and you’re acting.
If I’m committed to being the best for you that I can be…
If I’m committed to responding to your moods with grace…
If I’m committed to drawing on the power of the Holy Spirit when I realize I’m acting like a turd…
If I’m committed to looking through to your heart and what your heart needs (although I’m imperfect and won’t get it right all the time)…
…then, we will have plenty of opportunities for romance. It’s like we’ll have built a solid foundations and framed out the house so well, that we’ll be able to do the fun redecorating as often as we want because we’ll be confident that the house will be ours forever.
The other day, in the morning, I left. I was mad. Honestly, I might have had reason for it. You were in a sour mood. You weren’t your sweetest (later that day, it was probably my turn).
Ditching Jerk Entitlement
I felt empowered to be a jerk to you later. I felt it was my right. Thankfully, I caught myself. Maybe it was due to reading this book.
I sent you this email:
- Thank you for sharing with me when you are having a hard time. I appreciate it. Call and cry any time you need to.
- If there’s anything I can do to better support or encourage you, please let me know.
- You are beautiful. You are talented. You are a good mom.
- You and I both struggle with what is like some kind of autistic spectrum thing regarding our preschoolers’ too much crying, noise, etc. We both get overwhelmed. That’s hard.
- I’ll pray for you (and you can pray for me) that we’ll get better at that. Simple fact is that our kids (like every damn kid in the world) defy logic.
- But they’re wonderful, beautiful, and awesome kids. They really are. Stinking annoying a lot, but they are awesome.
- So are you.
So the whole premise of this website: Why I Love Tina, while it might focus on the sweet, fun, and beautiful things about you, is more about my learning to love you better–regardless of what I’m going through, how you’re acting, or whatever comes our way.