Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Pretty much everyone, men and women alike, claims to love their spouse “no matter what.” We make it sound like our love is truly unconditional, regardless of whatever might happen. However, I’d have to say that we’re fooling ourselves when we say that. Oh, we’re right in the sense of being able to love them through whatever we have in mind at that time, or we wouldn’t be saying it. That’s not the same thing though. Just because we’re convinced that we could keep loving them through some serious sickness doesn’t mean that we love them unconditionally.
Love is only known by its expression. If there’s no expression of love, then there’s no love. There might be something we think is love, but it’s nothing more than a feeling inside of us. For it to be recognizable as love to another, it has to come out of us and be expressed to that other person.
Unconditional love is only such when it is expressed at times when the other person doesn’t deserve it. If our expression of love is dependent upon the other person’s actions, then it isn’t really unconditional love. For us guys, that often means being able to continue expressing love, even when she is denying us sexually. That’s hard to do, but if we truly love our wives, we are able to do so.
So, what gets in our way of being able to express love at all times? More than anything it’s our emotions. When we don’t feel loved or appreciated, we have trouble expressing love towards others. To put it another way, when nobody is filling our love tank, we don’t have anything to give away.
Actually, although we live by that statement, it’s untrue. If we need our love tank to be filled, in order to have love to give to another, then there’s something wrong. We should be able to create love out of nothing, regardless of what others are doing to us. If we can’t do that, then human will doesn’t mean anything.
Okay, so what should we do? We should act in love towards our wives, no matter how our wives are acting towards us. Have you ever stopped to think that she may be acting the way she is, because she feels unloved?
Herein lies a great secret; loving when we don’t feel like it. Many have said, “Love isn’t an emotion, it’s a choice of the will.” I don’t totally agree with that. Try telling your wife sometime, “I don’t feel anything towards you, but I still love you.” I guarantee you, she’s not going to be thrilled. There is an aspect of love that is a feeling, but there is another aspect of love that’s a choice of the will. The will part comes into play when we act in love, even though our emotions are in conflict with that action.
Did you get that? We still need to act in love, even though are emotions aren’t in agreement. I’m not talking about pretending to love here; I’m talking about doing loving actions, even though we don’t feel like it. That’s a level of loving expression that most people never reach.
You know the crazy thing? If you act in love, even when you don’t feel like it, your emotions will follow your actions. In other words, if you don’t feel loving, act in love anyway; that will change your feelings.
As crazy as that sounds, it’s absolutely true. I have had a number of times where the best thing I could do to overcome negative feelings towards my wife was to do something loving for her. Every time I did that, it worked; she felt loved and I felt better towards her. My emotions followed my action.
A child is controlled by their emotions. As mature men, we need to learn how to control our emotions. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t feel anything, but rather that we should use our emotions as a tool, shaping them to meet the need. One great need is that of acting in love towards our wives, so we need to shape our emotions towards love.
Anyone who says that they’ve “fallen out of love” with their wife has just confessed that they’ve stopped trying to be loving towards their wife. They are expecting their wife to make them feel loving, rather than making that decision to love. I’d have to say, they probably never truly loved their wife, they only thought they did. Ouch!
So, the next time you find yourself thinking negatively about your wife, it means it’s a good day to buy her flowers, or maybe a box of chocolates. Perhaps you should cook her a special dinner or help her out with some chores. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is something that you will both interpret as an act of love. That will help you overcome those negative thoughts and feelings, and feel the love that you need to feel for your wife.