Since we now understand that love is not really a feeling, but an action, let's consider this: love thinks. Love is constantly busy in thought. And it understands that loving thoughts come before loving actions. It would be nice some days to just wake up and instantly act. But most of us have to think about it first.
When Frank and I were first dating, we saw each other every chance we got. And, quite honestly, it was a lot. It was probably a year or so into our dating relationship before we ever went ONE day without seeing each other. We were always thinking about each other and said so often.
For most of us, things change after you have been married for a while. The chase is over and now we can settle in! Our motivation for being thoughtful towards one another begins to be overshadowed by jobs, friends, children, and our own personal needs and desires. (there goes that selfishness again!) And pretty soon, we unintentionally ignore each other.
Thoughtfulness doesn't come naturally to all of us. For some, it has to be learned. And if we don't learn to be thoughtful, we will end up regretting missed opportunities to show love for each other. Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship.
Let's face it, men and women are different thinkers. We do NOT operate on the same wavelength most of the time. Men tend to have more "tunnel vision" while women can see and do many things at once. And these different ways of thinking make misunderstandings very common in our households. Men tend to be more direct in their thoughts (if they are willing to speak them) and we speak in code most of the time. Wanting for them to demonstrate their love to us by figuring out what we feel and what we really are saying, not on the surface... deeper.
But love requires thoughtfulness, from both parties. This kind of thoughtfulness teaches us how to meet in the middle. Love shows us how to respect the differences in our thinking.
How often do we say mean things or speak "harshly" to each other first, only to think later on if we should have said those things or in that way? I do. It is a constant struggle for me. I need that Holy Duct Tape everyday!! But, the thoughtful nature of love teaches us to engage our minds before engaging our lips!!! Love thinks before speaking. It filters words through a grid of truth and kindness. Wow! I can tell you that I certainly need to use THAT filter more often. Frank and I have often joked that "tactfulness" is not my fruit of the Spirit. I tend to say it first, and think about it later!!
GREAT MARRIAGES COME FROM GREAT THINKING!
Today, I was supposed to CONTACT YOUR SPOUSE SOMETIME DURING THE DAY. HAVE NO AGENDA OTHER THAN ASKING HOW THEY ARE AND IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU CAN DO FOR THEM.
Well, this one was not going to attract any attention to the fact I am doing the LOVE DARE, because we usually do speak to each other during the day just to see how each others day is going. And I will ask if he needs me to do anything for him before he gets home. And since today is Saturday, I didn't think that I would really have an opportunity to do that. But it ends up that Franks dad fell today and hurt his shoulder. He had to be taken to the hospital to see if he needed surgery. Of course, I called several times to check on FIL and to check on Frank. He is very emotional when it comes to his dad. Thankfully, he is okay and does NOT need to have surgery!
The Lord has really been good about keeping the HDT (holy duct tape) over my mouth. I had several occasions today in which I normally would have either made a smart remark or would have said something while aggravated (which never comes out good!). For a change, I said nothing at all. I didn't even try to say it in a nice way. Don't think I've come that far yet!!!