Monday, November 24, 2008

Love Dare - Day 29: Love's Motivation

If my love for my man were based on my feelings and/or his behavior, we would not have made it past the honeymoon. Hubbs is an anxious traveler - and by anxious, I mean that every other word out of his mouth is "let's go, we are gonna be late ... great, see now we are late ... ok, now we are later ... seriously, COME ON!!!". It is not his most attractive trait. Had we made it past the honeymoon ('cause truthfully, I thought it was endearing back then ... don't even ask me why ... maybe I thought he was anxious to go, 'cause he was anxious for the HONEYMOON!!!), we would not have made it past the trip home - my man gets grum-pay when tired and I tend to take it a little personal.

Now, to be fair, if it were motivated by MY behavior, we wouldn't have even got to the wedding! I would've surely lost him at the rehearsal. Our rehearsal was a nightmare. Let me repeat - NIGHTMARE!!! Seriously! I am not even kidding! We had lots of little girls in our wedding. Seven little girls to be exact, plus 5 tween girls and about 12 teen girls who were our usherettes. Guess that is what I get for being the world's best aunt and youth group coach around ;)!! And then there were the young and tween boys! Yeah, chaos was a given. I had somewhat prepared myself for that. But, I had NOT prepared my Daddy. And, in order to ward off some less then stellar behavior from him (we joke that the "Grumpy Old Men" movies were based on him and he was too grumpy for just one man to encompass it!!), my mom sent him to start the barbecue for the rehearsal dinner. I did not know this. So, when it came time to run through the ceremony and I had no one to walk me down the aisle ... let's just say it was NOT pretty. I threw a hissy fit of epic proportions. And it went downhill from there.

Needless to say, Hubby and I both stuck it out. We knew from the beginning that we were in it for the long haul. Because, thankfully, we knew from the beginning that it was not all about us. We knew where our love was centered.

"Render service with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men." - Eph. 6:7
If love is centered on emotions, it is not solid. If it is centered on behavior, it cannot stand. Truth is, emotions waver and behaviors are not stable enough to hold us together. That is just the way it is. Even the very best feelings fade - even with the best of intentions. And, honestly, behaviors are based, many times, on emotions, so they will change too.

There is really only One thing in the world that does not change - God, Himself. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Unchanging. Unwavering. Unfaltering. He is the solid rock. And, just like our homes, if our love is not built on a firm foundation it will not stand.

If we center our love on God - love our mate to HIS glory - it will last. It will last, because THAT will not change. And, that kind of love will not only glorify God, but it will also uplift our spouse. And that can't hurt, now, can it?!

And, going back to the last few days, we know that we must provide a safe haven for our loves. What is safer than a love that is based on the One who loves us best and most? If our mate knows our love is solid and true, they know that they are safe to be who they were created to be. Even if they might have some "ugly" moments getting there!

I know that I ask my hubby all the time "why do you love me?", 'cause I sometimes just need to hear him list my positive traits (have I mentioned that I have some serious ego issues?). However, I know in my heart, though, that those are the things that just make it EASIER for him to LIKE me. I know that the real reason that He loves me is because he chose to love me and chose to give that love to God. He made promises to me before God, but those promises were made TO god long before they were made to me. He loves God first and THAT love causes his love and devotion to me to remain strong. And, in return, he has taught me to love the same way. Him and God. God first and then Him - ALWAYS!

Our promises were made to God first and foremost. Breaking a vow would be breaking a promise to each other, but also to God. So, we pray and ask God to help us keep those vows everyday. We give nothing to each other that has not been laid at the foot of the cross first.

Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs. Whether it comes easy for you or not, say "I love you", then express love to them is some tangible way. Go to God in prayer again, thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person - unconditionally, the way He loves both of you.

Please, know that I am praying for you. If you have never truly laid your marriage down before God, I encourage you to do so today. I am here for you if you need to know what that entails. I am praying so hard for any of you who may be doing this dare. I would love the chance to talk with you personally if you have any questions about this or any other part of the dare. I am in no way an expert, but I can help direct you to the One who is!!!

Love ya and see ya tomorrow!

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