Today’s dare is this (previously written about here):
Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similar to these, “I love you. Period. I choose to love you even if you don’t love me in return.”
It’s funny. The anchor image in today’s Love Dare is the story of Hosea and Gomer. Hosea, the prophet, is called by God to love Gomer, the prostitute. He calls Hosea to take Gomer back – even buying her back – as a picture of God’s love toward His people.
The implication in Day 22 is that the faithful love is not a chastisement to not cheat, but rather a call to love the other person even if the other person, in the world’s terms, is unworthy of the love or if the other person is not interested in receiving love.
Where does this fit into our story?
I heard Andy Stanley say once (or a few times because it’s one of his favorite themes) that he doesn’t want to simply be committed to a marriage. In other words, he doesn’t want to grit teeth and push on through to keep a marriage in place, regardless of how fun, life-giving, and joy-producing the marriage is.
I don’t either. I don’t want to, in the words of the goofy fat rat in Ratatouille, ‘push through the gag reflex’ and make it work.
Now, this does not describe our marriage. BUT, there are moments when love is a choice. When my commitment to you goes beyond how I feel at the moment. And I’m really darn sure that I don’t get the same benefit from you. There are moments and times when I know that for whatever reason you do not feel tons of affection for me.
But that’s okay. And while I agree in principle with this dare – that it’s a choice, not a feeling, I don’t agree with the typical conclusion based on this choice vs. feeling dichotomy. I don’t agree that, “I choose to do it even if you’re a pain in my butt!”
I agree that I choose to love you and pour out (get better at pouring out) my creativity, energy, passion, ideas, generosity, etc. toward you. Not just our marriage.
There are times when I plain suck at it, but Tina you are the person God gave me to love. My desire is still that we become a city on a hill to other families and couples. That we will be a refreshing source of hope to others. And that you–you–you will know and experience the best love I can give you.