"I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord." --Hosea 2:20
Love is faithful. Not just when it is easy; not just when love is accepted. Even when the object of your love pushes you away and rejects your kindness, love remains faithful. Love is not dictated by the response, but rather the choice that you make to love--regardless of the outcome. "As Christians, love is the basis of our whole identity...our love for each other is supposed to be how people distinguish us as Christ's disciples (see John 13:35)...it is the root and ground of our existence (see Ephesians 3:17), meant to be expressed with passion and fervency (see 1 Peter 4:8). It is a quality that we are to 'abound' in more and more (see 1 Thessalonians 3:12), always getting btter at it, becoming increasinly defined by it."
If you are not familiar with the story of Hosea in the Bible, please familiarize yourself with it. Hosea married a prostitute, and after them growing close, and him consistently showing her love, she left him--going back to the ways of her past. She rejected his love for the desires of men. The story does not end there. He goes after her, finds her, and brings her home, loving her despite the way she treacherously dealt with his heart. Kendrick reminds us that "this is a true story, but it was used as a picture of God's love for us. He showers His favor on us without measure, though in return we often don't pay attention...In Him we have the model of what rejected love does. It stays faithful." Please take a moment and read through some Scripture: Luke 6:27-28; 32-33; 35.
We never expect our loved one to become our enemy. But far too often in marriage, we can come to view our spouse as that--rejecting our love, hurting us, being rude or noncommunicative. "If love is to like His, it must love even when its overtures are returned unwanted...You can give undeserved love to your spouse because God gave undeserved love to you--repeatedly! Enduringly! Love is often expressed the most to those who deserve it the least."
Dare 22: 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. I choose to love you even if you don't love me in return." I said these words throughout the day to Zane, in the morning, via text, in the afternoon, etc. While it may have been cheesy at times, it helped engrain in my head that I love him. Period. No matter what, I choose to love.
Dare 21: Be satisfied in God.
Dare 20: Commit to love Jesus so that you can love your spouse.
Dare 19: Pray for God to change your heart.
Dare 18: Study each other.
Dare 17: Promote intimacy.
(For previous dares, refer to earlier entries.)
--Inspired by "The Love Dare"