So far we are on day 11 of The Love Dare.
11 days of trying to Love one another unconditionally.
11 days of trying to put each other first and ourselves second.
11 days of me figuring out that I am most definitely the lucky one in this relationship.
And 11 days of realizing that Jon and I really do a lot of little things for each other.
I have really enjoyed these past 11 days and I think Jon has too. Not only is it encouraging to try to find ways to do things for your partner, but it's even more encouraging to realize that I really do try to do a lot of things for Jon, without a book telling me to do it. A lot of the dares are about doing something "special" for your spouse that day. Doing a little something extra for them and some of the examples they give are things that I or Jon already do for each other, so its been even more of a challenge finding more little ways to say "I love you."
I think the most discouraging day would to have been about Love being rude. The dare was to ask your spouse about 3 things you do that make them feel uncomfortable or irritated. Your spouse has to tell and you can in no way defend or justify your ways. For the most defensive person in the world. this... was... hard! But I handled it calmly and I am really thankful that the book gave us the opportunity to share something that might be a little hard to say to the others face. I really appreciated Jon's honesty and have been working on my 3... among numerous other things that I know bug the heck out of him.
Love is not easily irritated was also an interesting day. Jon was having one of his " butt munchie" (that's what I call them) days. These are the days when his goofiness gets a little out of control. He can't help but act like he is five and he flaunts it. I finally had to look at him and say " do you want me to fail the non-irritated dare today? are you trying to break me?" He smiled and said nope! then went back to his impish ways. sigh... I do love that man regardless of his butt munchiness at times, and sometimes times I love him because of it.... but usually it's the first case scenario :)
I believe so far Day 10 has been my favorite. "Love is unconditional" Seems so simple right? We get married and just assume that we love each other no matter what. But in reality that is not always the case. We tend to be very behaviorally loving. We only want to love when someone is doing something the way WE want it done. Because let's be honest it's all about me...me...me! But it all comes down the to the fact that Love is a CHOICE! "The truth is this; love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love." So often people base their love on their emotions or the situation. They aren't basing it on their commitment and their CHOICE of entering this commitment. Do I always like what Jon does? Do I always find him completely lovable or adorable? No! But I choose to be with him, every day I choose to love him despite things that I may not always enjoy. And what's more is that he chooses to stay with me and by my side! (and let me tell you this is no easy feat, despite my chipper disposition, I can be a real peach sometimes :) )
Where this chapter really led was our relationship with Christ. Who loves us unconditionally.
"He doesn't love us because we are lovable but because He is so loving." Wow.... you mean I'm not completely lovable all the time? *sigh* busted. I love that our creator loves his creation beyond all measure, I love that He continues to love me regardless of the situation or his emotions at the time. Obviously for us mere mortals this type of unconditional non- circumstantial love is impossible to reach. BUT that doesn't mean we shouldn't make the choice to strive for unconditional love. And what is really fantastic is the only way we can even get close is by choosing to let God work through us and choosing to let show the love that he shows upon us.
I want a marriage that is unconditional, goes beyond measure, doesn't rely on the other persons emotions or behaviors. I chose this commitment and will choose it for the rest of my life. If more people would make the harder choice of loving their spouse when things get hard instead of giving up when it doesn't go their way, think of how many more stable and well adjusted families there would be? If spouses didn't decide to "not love" each other. Make the harder choice, be true to your commitment and your partner, choose to Love no matter what. Will it be difficult at times? of course. Will it be worth it in the end? Absolutely.
I realize this is a very sporadic and somewhat rambling post, but I'm tired, hungry, and my winter vacation is almost over.... that's the only way I can justify it :)