Feb 03 2010

Love Dare - Day 29

Love’s Motivation

 

Render service with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men.  – Ephesians 6:7 HCSB

 

It doesn’t take much experience to discover that your mate will not always motivate your love.  In fact, many times they will de-motivate it.  More often than you’d like, it will seem difficult to find the inspiration to demonstrated your love.  They may not even receive it when you try to express it.  That’s simply the nature life, even in fairly healthy marriages.

 

But although moods and emotions can create all kinds of moving motivational targets, one is certain to stay in the same place, all the time.  When God is your reason for loving, your ability to love is guaranteed.

 

That’s because love comes from Him.

 

Think of it like this. When you were a child, your parents certainly established rules for you to follow.  Your bedtime was at a certain hour.  Your room had to be kept mostly clean.  Your schoolwork needed to be finished before you could go play.  If you were like most people, you bent these rules as often as you obeyed them.  And if not for the incentive of force and consequences, you might not have obeyed them at all.

 

But if you met Christ along the way or received any kind of Bible teaching, you probably were exposed to this idea – “Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord” (Colossians 3:20).  If you took this to heart at all, you knew you didn’t merely have your parents to answer anymore.

 

This was no longer a battle of wills between you and a flesh-and-blood authority figure.  This was now between you and God.  Your mom and dad were just the go-betweens.

 

As it turns out, however, the relationship between parents and children isn’t the only thing enhanced by letting God become your driving motivation.  Consider the following areas where pleasing Him should become our goal:

 

Work. “Do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23).

 

Service. “Obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord” (Colossians 3:22).

 

Everything. “Work hard at “whatever you do … knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:23-24).

 

Even marriage. “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18).  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

 

The love that’s demanded from you in marriage is not dependent on your mate’s sweetness or suitability.  The love between a husband and wife should have one chief objective: honoring the Lord with devotion and sincerity.  The fact that it blesses our beloved in the process is simply a wonderful, additional benefit.

 

This change of focus and perspective is crucial for a Christian.  Being able to wake up knowing that God is your source and supply – not just of your own needs but also those of your spouse – changes your whole reason for interacting with your mate.

 

No longer is it this imperfect person who decides how much love you’ll show, but rather it’s your omni-perfect God who can use even a flawed person like yourself to bestow loving favor on another.

 

Has your wife become fairly hard to live with lately?  Is her slowness at getting over a disagreement wearing on your patience?  Can she not just give it a rest?  Don’t withhold your love just because she thinks differently from you.  Love her “as to the Lord.”

 

Is your husband tuning you out, not saying much, apparently brooding over something he’s not interested in sharing?  Do you feel hurt by his unwillingness to open up?  Are you tired of him being so short with you, not even responding to the children the way he needs to?  Don’t battle back with a double dose of silence and inattention.  Love him anyway.  “As to the Lord.”

 

Love motivated by mere duty cannot hold out for very long.  And love that is only motivated by favorable conditions can never be assured of sufficient oxygen to keep it breathing.  Only love that is lifted up as an offering to God – returned to Him in gratitude for all He’s done – is able to sustain itself when all other reasons have lost their ability to energize us.

 

Those who are fine with mediocre marriages can leave their love to chance and hope for the best.  But if you are committed to giving your spouse the best.  But if you are committed to giving your spouse the best love you possibly can, you need to shoot for love’s highest motivation.  Love that has god as its primary focus is unlimited in the heights it can attain.

 

 

Today’s Dare

 

Before you see your spouse again today, pray for them by name and for their needs.  Whether it comes easy for you or not, say “I love you,” then express love to them in some tangible way.  Go to God in prayers again, thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this one special person – unconditionally, the way He loves both of you.

 

 

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

 

 

Click here to buy a copy of The Love Dare book.  

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.

 

Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.  Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.

 

Comments (27) -

2/3/2010 5:24:59 AM
free United States
free
holly i read your blog yeaterday and you said your in need for some healing-you should be doing the dare for yourself-get to know who you are in CHRIST read the bible on how much HE loves you and cares for you-i use to feel lonely too because i was rejected and abused-but once i started to read my bible i look at myself in a different way-JESUS loves me and HE cares for me-i started to heal-i still am-and i can honestly say i am a diifferent because of CHRIST-i will pray for you to find your inner peace with CHRIST
2/3/2010 6:23:18 AM
Broken Hearted is healing United States
Broken Hearted is healing
I am able to read the comments in the morning which means that I have to go back to the day before.  Satan is really at work in our marriages.  I just want to encourage all the writers from yesterday to be honest with ourselves.  We have to use the dares to work on our relationships with God. Get that right then the desires of our hears will be fulfilled.  Maybe it is stopping the fantasies or temptations we have.  Maybe it is learning to respect and cherish our spouses.  Maybe it is breaking up wiht a cheating fiance or maybe it will be God waking that fiance up to what is best.  I just don't know.  I do know that God has been working in my heart and is healing the hurt of infidelity.  It is amazing at how quick God has been able to heal that hurt.  It started to crop up a bit last night (suspicion and hurt)  but communication with spouse can do so much. Please hang in there and look to God.(I know, easier said that done sometimes.)
2/3/2010 7:34:45 AM
brokenhearted United States
brokenhearted
Back in November my wife asked me for a divorce. It came out of nowhere. March 25th.would be 10 yrs.married. I have been trying to win her back, changed many things in my life, accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I started doing the Love Dare and I happened to mention it to her and she told me a few days later to stop doing. She had no interest in it from me. Painful. God's love is keeping me strong and my belief that He is working on her in someway but she is fighting Him. I pray and pray and with my faith in Him, I have left it all up to Him. I have done all I feel I could have and the end seems inevitable. I do believe that through God anything is possible. I will just have to have my newfound faith in Him to take care of everything. Loving God and following the direction He points me in but I know it will take time.
2/3/2010 7:37:53 AM
Shel United States
Shel
Well, I feel again that this has been coming to me already...slowly but surely. Everything I am doing for my spouse is mainly to please the Lord. I do have a new found love for my spouse and do genuinely want him happy and to feel loved but mostly I want him to find the love and peace we receive from a realationship with Christ! When I pray for my spouse, when I do something for my spouse, I am doing it for the glory of God; letting Him use me as a vessel. When I started the dare, I just wanted my husband back, but now I feel so much more! I want him to know the Lord, I want to know the Lord! I want our marriage to please the Lord and to be a living testimony of the wonder of God! Everything good I do, I do becuase of God! My stregth has been totally from God. My love and patience, again from God! Praise the Lord! God Bless you all!
2/3/2010 7:51:13 AM
brokenhearted United States
brokenhearted
My wife asked me for a divorce a few moths ago. We are about away from the finalization. She found out I was doing the love dare and asked me to stop. I know God is reaching out and touching her but she is fighting Him. I have faith in Him that things could work out but it seems very bleek at times. After she asked for divorce I accepted Christ as my Saviour. I am still a newborn and have trouble focusing my thoughts and leaving it up to Him. His strength has pulled me through so far and I feel He has intervened in all this but it guess it will take time. I will keep having faith in Him and continue to pray.
2/3/2010 9:29:11 AM
deep in sorrow United States
deep in sorrow
T.C., I love the fact that we are "heard" on this webpage. i truly believe that the Holy Spirit is working in ALL of us; to support and understand each other. this is SO AMAZING! id been looking 4 a place online to share the same pain that i am experiencing, but never did, until KLOVE. THANK U KLOVE STAFF! I LOVE U GUYS! 22 years is a very loong time. i dont think u should give up T.C., PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. the Lord WILL reach to ur husband's heart, just give it some time; it's GOD's timing. it's tough living with the vicious affair, it's a misery; ive been there, thats why i left my husband and now im regretting every breath i take that i just didnt stay and pray. GOD IS GOOD and he WILL fix ur marriage. u are now in my prayer book. so many broken marriages; it saddens me, but at the same time, it gives me peace to see that im not ALONE; ive got u guys to share the pain with. GOD BLESS you my sister in Christ.
2/3/2010 9:31:04 AM
deep in sorrow United States
deep in sorrow
Laura, GOD has Blessed you with happiness in your marriage. give thanks to the LORD!
2/3/2010 9:34:09 AM
deep in sorrow
deep in sorrow
Larramie, im sooo happy 4 u. i wish my husband would come back to me, as urs did. your husband is a good man because he is willing to give it another chance and bringing Christ into ur home. GO FOR IT!! ur parents will later accept it. the Bible states that a woman must follow her husband, after God.
2/3/2010 9:49:49 AM
deep in sorrow
deep in sorrow
Awww Shel, me too, my husband rejects me all the time and that is so painful. i know, i know what u feel, ive been there and am STILL THERE. just last night, i couldnt sleep cause i miss my husband so much, i called him, only to be rejected. i dont understand how and why, if i love him unconditionally, can he not "see" that and give our marriage a chance, for our girls (12 and 2). i too CRY EVERYDAY, i hurt soo bad. there's a void in my heart that ONLY my husband can fill. (wiping tears) i pray ALL the time for him to find peace, and to love GOD first and himself so that he can too fall in love with me. ive grown impatient and want him back desperately; but i have to accept what GOD's will is. GOD is FIRST. ALWAYS. im praying for you, my sister in Christ, for ur marriage and ur husband. GOD knows what ur needs are...i feel like ive gained a whole new family here on this page. pray for my husband brothers and sisters, and for every broken marriage. GOD BLESS  
2/3/2010 9:51:24 AM
deep in sorrow
deep in sorrow
i hope to someday share my story as Cheryl has. CONGRATULATIONS!
2/3/2010 9:54:01 AM
deep in sorrow
deep in sorrow
LUST AND INFIDELITY ARE EVIL, they will only bring u long suffering and emotional pain. trust me, ive been there and look where i'm now, lonely, a single mother of 2. i lost my husband and my home because of temptation. rebuke it rebecca. instead LOVE UR HUSBAND, FIND WAYS TO REKINDLE UR LOVE. u'll regret it for the rest of ur life if u follow temptation. GOD Bless you.
2/3/2010 10:05:00 AM
deep in sorrow
deep in sorrow
Shel, u need to call me. we share so much of the same pain. i cant even teach my kids at school because im always crying behind my desk. i know we'd receive healing if we'd hang in together. email me at pbenavides@sdisd.esc2.net id love to talk to u some more
2/3/2010 10:59:51 AM
cj United States
cj
Not sure which day to reply to...
Just me, I've been praying for you, knowing your situation might be totally different than mine.  Just wanted you to feel comforted and give hope.  But, only you and God know your husband deep enough to know his needs.  It sounds like you are basing your decision on wisdom and self-sacrificing love, what's best for him and not thinking of yourself.  I'll pray you'll know you're not alone. It's amazing how Jesus understands even the needs of wives when our husbands are unable to for whatever reason.  He speaks to my heart a lot on womanly issues.  
Praying for you!  
2/3/2010 11:47:37 AM
Alicia United States
Alicia
Today's love dare was special to me. I have been praying for my relationship for three weeks seriously. To be honest all signs say he is walking out on me and our relationship, but all words from God say this is where I'm suppose to be and who I am suppose to be with. I have gotten weary and felt like giving up, then the scripture of the day says, "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you are asking for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you." Today I was given the second chance. I'm just scared to mess up. I know its taking a lot for my other half to try again. I know he can't take much more. I love him. I don't want us to quit or throw our future away. I guess I would just like to ask for ya'll to pray for this door to stay open and for God to save our family. I know nothing is too big for God. I know He is in this with us. Thank you for your prayers and support.
2/3/2010 12:04:59 PM
kay United States
kay
bizarre.  commit to the love dare and it happens BEFORE I have a chance to read the daily dare....
2/3/2010 12:59:30 PM
Steph United States
Steph
I am currently doing this love dare on my husband to try to save our marriage. He already filed for divorce so please pray that it works. Thank-you.
2/3/2010 4:55:10 PM
just me United States
just me
This one was easy today.  My husband was having a bad day anyway, so praying for him was a given.  It was also easy to tell him that I love him since I do it mutiple times a day already!  To show him, I just finished up my "chores" early  (ok so I rushed) and then spent the rest of the day just sitting and talking with him.  AND I gave him my full attention.  I know this doesn't sound like much, but I've been really neglecting my husband lately, going off into my own little world.  It feels good to really be WITH him again.  
Thanks again for everyone's help.  All of your comments mean so much to me and it gives me a lot to think about. Helps me to stay focused on God rather than me.  My prayers are with you all!
2/3/2010 6:44:43 PM
booklady United States
booklady
Tangible way?? what does that mean? Buy them something?
2/3/2010 9:11:36 PM
Shel United States
Shel
Booklady:
I think tangible means something you can see, hold or touch. It could be ironing his clothes, fixing his lunch, writing a sweet phrase and hiding it in his pocket....you get the picture. God Bless you!
2/3/2010 10:19:51 PM
MudRunner United States
MudRunner
I just finished reading all the posts, and just want to say I will pray for all of you!!!! My wife and I have been seperated for 8 months and came to agreement with our Pastor to move back in together next week. I can say for me doing the Love Dare on her has been very enlighting and really softened my heart. We still love eachother and have had NO infidelity physically but came to a point in our marriage where we were fighting every day...it was awefull. There is still along way to go but know that Christ can do all things!!!
2/4/2010 9:39:21 AM
Jessica United States
Jessica
Just want to encourage ever spouse out there.  Jesus said, "So they are no longer two but one, therefore what God has joined together let NO man seperate."  Spouses you are one, the NO in this scripture includes your spouse.  Pray and stand on this scripture, God changed my marriage as a result.  Warfare with the enemy is not easy, nor does it feel good, and it is usually not quick.  Receive the strengh God has for you, stand up and take authority over your marriage.  Watch God work.
2/17/2010 2:52:42 PM
Randy Mendillo United States
Randy Mendillo
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William Brandman
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