Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love Dare- Day 28!!

Yesterday's Followup: When you place high expectations on your spouse that they don't feel internally motivated to attain, what does that tell you about yourself? What are some better ways to deal with these disconnects?

Love Makes Sacrifices

He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3.16

Life can be hard. But what we usually mean is that our life can be ha rd. We're the first to feel it when we're the ones being mistreated or inconvenienced. We're quick to sulk when we're the ones who feel deprived or unappreciated. When life is difficult for us, we notice.

But too often the only way we notice that life is hard for our mate i when they start complaining about it. Then instead of genuinely caring or rushing in to help, we might think they just have a bad attitude. The pain and pressure they're under don't register with us the way it does when it's our pain and pressure. When we want to complain, we expect everyone to understand and feel sorry for us.

This doesn't happen when love is at work. Love doesn't have to be jarred awake by your mate's obvious signs of distress. Before worries and troubles have begun to bury them, love has already gone into action mode. It sees the weight beginning to pile up and it steps in to help. That's because love wants you to be sensitive to your spouse.

Love makes sacrifices. It keeps you so tuned into what your spouse needs that you often respond without being asked. And when you don't notice ahead of time and must be told, love responds to the heart of the problem.

Even when you mate's stress come out in word of personal accusation, love shows compassion rather than becoming defensive. Love inspires you to say, "no" to what you want, in order to say, "yes" to what your spouse needs.

That's what Jesus did, "He laid down His life for us" to show us that 'we should always lay down our lives" for other. He taught us that the evidence of love is found in seeing a need in others, then doing all we can to satisfy it.

Love is willing to make sacrifices to see that the needs of your spouse are given your very best effort and focus. When your mate is overwhelmed and under the gun, love calls to you set aside what seems o essential in your own life to help, even if it's merely the gift of a listening ear.

The words"How can I help you?" need to stay fresh on your lips.

The solutions may be simple and easy for you to do or they may be complex and expensive, requiring time and energy. Either way you should do whatever you can to meet the real needs of the one who is a part of who you are. After all, when you help them, you are also helping yourself. That' the beautiful part of sacrificing for your spouse. Jesus did it for us. And He extends the grace to do it for others.

Today's Dare

What is one of the greatest needs in your spouse's life right now? Is there a need you could life from their shoulders today by a daring act of sacrifice on your part? Whether the need is big or small, purpose to do what you can to meet the need.


The Patterson 5 said...

This makes me think of a marriage conference we went to where the minister said a good marriage could be summed up by these verses.
Phil 2:2-3 "then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing our of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others bether than yourselves." The verses go on to talk about the attitude of Christ.... being a servant. My inlaws put in their wedding vows promises to serve one another along with the love and cherish vows. And they did. I can certainly improve on my serving....starting with attitude adjustment and action.

Chelle' said...

This followup for sure extends to ALL RELATIONSHIPS.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a book out there specifically discussing how expectations will steal, rob and destroy relationships of all things good.

Even with my children, I notice that when I get heated with them it's because I've expected them to DO or NOT do something. Think about that next time you are fit to be tied... (with the kids or your spouse)... it's always because you expected them TO DO or NOT TO DO something.

And I realize that there are times your expectations are valid... but many times... we make mountains out of molehills because we expected far too much... or we've had unknown expectations... or unattainable expectations.

My dislike for expectations has been renewed with this post. I will be cautious to limit them in my marriage today... and in my relationship with each child as well...

Good Challenge this one... Good Challenge.