Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Love Dare Day 19

I have come to accept over the past couple of weeks (even though I have known it for some time) that unconditional love is something that we do not have the ability to muster up ourselves.  It is impossible.  You can show kindness, thoughtfulness, and be considerate.  But truly loving someone unselfishly and unconditionally is something completely different.

And like it or not, it isn't something that we will ever be able to do.  Only God can.  Because of His love for me and His love for Frank, He chooses to show His love through me.  And if you still think for one brief moment that you can at some point on your own with enough hard work and sacrifice create that kind of love... ask yourself this:  How many times has your love kept you from lying (even if it's only a little white one) or overreacting or thinking something ugly about your spouse?  How often has your love been able to control your anger? Or how often has your love caused you to end an ongoing argument peaceably?

As long as we are only looking to ourselves to create and feel this kind of love, we will fail.  
I John 4:7 says that Love is from God.  So only those of us that have allowed Christ into our hearts can tap into love's real power...

We simply can't do it apart from Him.  And the truth is that we can't live without Him.  We can't truly love apart from Him.  But, He can do amazing things in our marriages if we just trust Him...

Fortunately, for me, I have put my trust in Him and I can tap into the Source.  But, I often don't.  What is it that keeps us from using all that God has put in us?  I will try to do things myself and usually make a huge mess of it.  I end up 3 steps behind where I began.  If I would just yield.  Yield myself to the Holy Spirit, I could be 3 steps ahead.


My answer is YES!  There were some things that I felt would be impossible.  Keeping my mouth shut on the very first day seemed impossible!  If it hadn't been for the HDT I would have chewed a hole in the side of my mouth and that would have been very unattractive!  Giving in on an argument or issue and letting him "win"... are you kidding me?

What I have learned so far is that I thought I had a great marriage and I thought I was a great wife.  And we DO have a great marriage.  But,  I had no idea how much room there was for improvement.  Not from Frank.  From me.  I was sure going into this that I would have no problem doing anything that was asked because I already loved my husband.  What I discovered was that perhaps I was more selfish than I was ready to admit.  

And there is NO WAY I can do this without God.  I am NOT that strong.

*As a side note, several of you have asked me why I chose not to do this with Frank and do it as kind of a secret (okay well it's not KINDA a secret. It IS a secret so shhhh.)  The main reason was because I didn't want to be thinking about myself.  What is he going to do for me today?  Or, I did more than he did!  Or if he were to get behind for any reason I didn't want to feel slighted.  And I didn't want to be walking around with the expectation that he was supposed to do something for me.

The other reason was I didn't want him criticizing what I was doing. (sorry honey!  Just being honest)

So those are my reasons!


Sandy Toes said...

I love your honesty...that is why this will work!!!
-sandy toes

Anonymous said...

good for you, friend

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Hey Ashley, thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, we actually saw Fireproof, on Saturday while we were together for the weekend. I did not know that there was a real Love Dare book. I may need to get that.
BTW, my blog must not have loaded correctly on your computer, because my text is on a white background. So, I am thinking the white background did not load over the stripes. I hope next time you come by, it will load correctly. Thanks for the info.

He And Me + 3 said...

I want to be able to do mine secretly too. I can't wait to start...I keep saying that. I need to finish my other book. Why are the last 50 pages so difficult? Ugh. Maybe by next week. I am loving your posts about your journey.

Elaine said...

Great reasons and great idea...Wow, good thoughts, thank you for sharing.

Kim @ My Journey said...

Love your blog and your family pictures are so beautiful. I am so disappointed my hubby & I STILL haven't seen Fireproof.... we've either had problems finding a sitter or sick kiddos. Can't wait to see it though! And, I've already got the devotion and anxious to get started.

Have a super day!!!

Davisix said...

These posts always move me. Meeting you has been such a blessing to me.

And you know how I on a completely different subject....I can't believe you recongnized my Thing 3 in Keli's pics. My heart did a leap when I saw your post on her blog. :)

Jennifer said...

dare 19: again, perfect timing for me (GOD is good like that!). Last night, hubby came home in a BAD mood. On top of that, I asked him to pick up something from teh grocery store on his way home and he got me the wrong thing (as usual, men--ha!) things blew up quickly. BUT I kept remembering this dare...and just prayed for my hubby and our love. It truly helped me calm down and find peace, unfortunately hubby is still mad this morning ,so I texted messaged him and said "Spend your commute in prayer today!" and hope it helps him too.