Well, first of all I want to say that the FIREPROOF MY MARRIAGE conference was great!! Heard a lot of great things and I can't wait to share them with you. (because I love ya'll I took great notes to share!!) However, so that I don't just completely overwhelm you with information and a VERY long post I have decided to give it to you in pieces. Maybe some tomorrow and maybe some more a couple of days after that... Just know that it was so good to be there.
Also, something very exciting to share with you is that THE LOVE DARE has been made into an 8 week Bible Study course! You will be able to do it in your Sunday School classes or in small group settings or your ladies Bible Study class! I will let you know when it will be available. Probably will be around the same time the movie is available on DVD!
On to Day 22!!!
Our love for one another is supposed to be the way that others identify us as followers of Christ. It is a quality that we should grow in more and more, always getting better and being defined by that love.
So, if love is supposed to be what we are growing in, what happens if that love is rejected? How should we react? I can tell you how I have reacted in the past. And it wasn't always pretty either. If Frank rejected me in any way, I just returned the favor. I would hit him with as much rejection in as many ways as I could. (sometimes I wonder why he put up with me so long :) ) Thinking that this would make me feel better about the way that I was feeling, it usually just led to a lot of hurt on both our parts instead.
Consider the story in the Bible of Hosea. God instructed him to marry a prostitute!!! I bet Hosea thought he didn't hear the Lord correctly on that one. But he had heard correctly. And what's more... he obeyed the Lord.
Hosea's wife, Gomer (how bout taking THAT name for your next daughter!) didn't reform her ways just because she had a godly husband. Even though he had loved her, she broke his heart in her unfaithfulness.
As time went on, the Lord spoke to Hosea again. Now he was supposed to reaffirm his love for his wife. By this point, Gomer had to be bought out of slavery by Hosea. But he paid the price and brought her home. And even though she had treated him with contempt and total disrespect, he still welcomed her home.
What a beautiful picture of God's unconditional love for us. Even though many of us have rejected Him and His love in many ways, He still loves us anyway. He is still faithful.
Our model for love is Christ. If our love is to be like Him then we must love even if our love is unwanted, rejected. We can give undeserved love to our spouse because God gave us undeserved love! And He gave it over and over again. Love is often expressed the most to those that deserve it the least.
Today my dare says LOVE IS A CHOICE, NOT A FEELING. CHOOSE TODAY TO BE COMMITTED TO LOVE EVEN IF YOUR SPOUSE HAS LOST MOST OF THEIR INTEREST IN RECEIVING IT. SAY TO THEM "I LOVE YOU PERIOD. EVEN IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME BACK!"
Praise the Lord I can say that to my husband and don't have to be concerned if he will return my love or not. I know that Frank loves me and he knows that I love him. Sometimes we don't show it like we should, but I do know it. But I do remember a time when I couldn't say that. It's very painful to be in that kind of a relationship. Our marriage didn't change until I began to change. Once I quit waiting on him to be the one to make the first step or to change all the things on my list FIRST and I focused on what my responsibilities were (notice I said responsibilities NOT rights) and if I was actually doing them THEN things started to change.
See, my circumstances didn't really change at all. Just my perspective on my circumstances did.