Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does. — Ephesians 6:7
What motivates you in your marriage? This is important to consider, because at the core of your belief-system is it “all about you?” Maybe, on a good day, you can honestly say that you are very sacrificial (Day 28) towards your spouse and it’s “all about them.” Today’s dare would have you go one step further to realize that it’s “all about God.” Day 29 of The Love Dare reads, “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.” (p. 143)
It’s “all about God” applies to everything—our motivation to work, our attitude towards serving, everything we say and everything we do. We want to honor the Lord with devotion and sincerity. In marriage that will carry us a long, long ways down a sometimes difficult road—we are to “love anyway” because it’s for the Lord.
My primary care doctor taught me a lesson in how the motivation to demonstrate God’s love applies to all of life. She is constantly being called on to perform the impossible, oftentimes with “impossible” people. One day, while in her office, I found her secret. On her wall was posted a poem, attributed to Mother Teresa, which is sometimes called “The Anyway Poem:”
“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”
It’s all about God. The more I remember that; the more I think about that; the more I cling to that—the better.
Is your wife impossible to deal with? Love her anyway. Is your husband ignoring you—showing no interest in you at all? Love him anyway. “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.” (p. 143)
If the motivation for your love is founded on God, your ability to love is unlimited. That’s because He is love, and all love comes from Him. He will bless everything you do if it is done for Him.
Here is today’s dare during deployment: Pray for your spouse and their needs. Then tell them, by email or phone, the words “I love you.” Later, thank the Lord for giving you this person to love unconditionally, just as He loves you both.
Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . . — Colossians 3:23
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. — Ephesians 5:21
Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)