How to have an awesome marriage #9

Number 8 was for the wives and number 9 is for the husbands. “Husbands, love your wives the way Jesus loves the church”. It is hard to believe, but I don’t remember ever saying “I love you” to Patty in our first 20 years of marriage. She says I did a few times. In about 1990 I decided I needed to change that so I made a goal to tell Patty 5 times every day that I loved her. Because of the marked increase in saying “I love you”, Patty asked me one day what exactly I was saying, what did I mean when I said “I love you”. I asked her if she would give me a couple of days to think about how to answer that question, and she graciously agreed. So I read and reread every verse in the Bible on love, and read a couple of books on the subject. I came to the conclusion that Biblical love is not a statement of affection, or how we feel toward a person emotionally, but to say to someone that you love them is to say that you are committed to them as a person, that you are committed to doing whatever it takes to meet their needs. When I got back to Patty to tell her what I meant when I said “I love you”, I told her that I was making 7 specific commitments to her and every time I said to her “I love you”, I was remaking them. The first was that I am promising that you are the only woman in my life, in my thoughts you are it, in my emotions, and in real life. The second commitment was that I would not get angry at her, not even a little bit irritated, no matter what she said or did, or how many times she did it. The third was that I would talk to her any time she wanted, for as long as she wanted, on any subject, and I would honor her by showing sincere attention to her words as she spoke. I don’t have space to give you the other 4 commitments, but Patty loved them.

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