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Tuesday Tea Chat No.34 ~ Practical Ways to Show Love

 

Hi Friends, I hope you are having a lovely day. As I sip my tea, it is raining! (Thank you, Lord!) It's only one of many blessings we've enjoyed this week. Birthdays, Anniversary, guests, and a son soon to be home from the military...frankly it's hard to keep count! :o)


One of the highlights of last week, was having more than one 'lady' for tea several times. There's nothing quite like company for a truly special tea. :o)



In honor of our visitors, I even made scones. (Yipes!--I did eat one very small one.) they were so so good!  Rebekah and I especially enjoy this recipe.  We also had blackberry tea and wedding tea (almond/white jasmine) and plenty of fresh mango and cantaloupe.  Leisurely breakfasts really are the best part of having guests for the weekend. :o)


How about you? What are you having for tea this morning? I do hope you will join us. Feel free to link up right here if you want to share your posts of pretty tea things and delicious treats, or even thoughts on our topic today.




Since yesterday was our 24th anniversary (Wow-time sure does fly when you're having fun!), I thought I'd share photos of our little celebration. Considering that it was squeezed in between so many other events, we didn't do a big to-do though we did go out to Olive Garden which was just perfect. In addition, my secret sister gave us such a DARLING package to help make the day fun. 

 

And we thoroughly enjoyed our 'celebration in a box'....lovely glasses, champagne, and the movie, Julie and Julia. What a great idea for an anniversary gift!  (PS. This is a great movie for bloggers' hubbies to watch with them..Tim laughed a LOT..and it's very romantic too.)

Chatting with a son about relationships and thinking of how much Dear Hubby and I love each other so much in spite of many ups and downs, got me to thinking of the topic of Love. So that's what I'd like to chat with you about today, over tea. :o)


 
Jacob 19, Christian 16, Tim and Donna, Rebekah 20  
(Matthew 25 and Andrew 22 not pictured here)

It's so easy after years of marriage and many of life's events, to get a little careless about showing love to those we rely on the most, our spouses.  Not only that, but today's definition of 'true love' has gotten terribly clouded if you ask me.   As Marianne from Sense and Sensibility asked, "Is love a fancy...or a feeling..or a Farrows?"  That sums up today's take on love, I'm afraid.


What I love best is love as depicted in the recent movie, Fireproof.  I'm sure many of you have either seen the movie, or read the book.  The book is the best part!  Love certainly does include feelings...but for it to last, it has to go a lot further. 

Love that lasts and is genuine...is based on a choice to treat someone in a very specific way and to value that person above all others.  Love is something we experience based on the actions of others towards us or of our actions towards them.  Act loving towards someone, and you will soon feel love for that someone.  It's just the way we humans are wired.  


However, it's a little bit more complicated than that. Love has a lot to do with our motives too. I Corinthians 13 contrasts a love that comes from a sense of duty and shows itself only in 'public acts'...'doing things' for others, versus truly loving that person from the heart. 

Love is patient, kind, gentle, polite, hopeful, and faithful.  When we have this heart for others, we are loving them and then all those things we do, really do spell "L-O-V-E" to those around us. No gal I know wants flowers and dates...from a sense of 'duty' any more than our men want us to love them strictly from a sense of 'duty'.  That kind of love kills. 
 
Love from a sense of duty says, "I choose to 'love' you..but I don't like you."  It makes the giver feel better about themselves while allowing them to feel free of all obligation to truly love the recipient from the heart. This is often the result of bitterness over unmet expectations. The pharisees of the bible were very good at this sort of thing and the Lord didn't like it--at all. We sure don't want to do this to our spouses or our children.




So if love is not a duty or a fancy and not primarily a 'feeling'...what does love look like? Our poor guys are constantly scratching their heads trying to figure this one out..while too often we women pine for 'Mr. Knightly" to show up via our dear Mr. Steady hubbies. 

If you are waiting for Hollywood to inspire your hubby, you are probably in for a pretty long wait!


When we were newly married, my young husband often wondered how I spelled love .....and I had a hard time explaining what it was I was longing for...

I have to say, that the Love Dare book really hit it on the head...though really, the bible does explain it pretty simply.  Thank you, Kendricks, for spelling "L-O-V-E" out so beautifully and practically in your book!

Here are  11 (out of 42) challenges they issue us for showing love in a practical sense...

Day 1: Love is Patient Eph.4:2 ~  Resolve to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. It the temptation arises, choose to say nothing at all.
Day 2: Love is Kind Eph.4:32  Do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness. (Greet first, smile first, serve first.)
Day 3: Love is Not Selfish Romans 12:10 Buy your spouse something that says, "I Love You" today.
Day 4: Love is Thoughtful Psalm 139:17-18 Call your spouse to ask them how they are...and if there is anything you can do for them today.
Day 5: Love is not Rude Proverbs 27:14 Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated at you. Do so without attacking them or justifying yourself.  This is from their perspective only.
Day 6: Love is not irritable Proverbs 16:32  Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.   Begin by making a list below of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.
Day 7: Love believes the best 1 Cor. 13:7  Get two sheets of paper. On the first, write out positive things about your spouse. Then write negative things on the second sheet. Set them aside for a later project. Today, pick ONE thing from your positive list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.


 

Other challenges....

  • Determine to become your spouse's biggest fan. Set your heart to focus on their achievements. Take the negative list and discreetly burn it. Share with your spouse about a success he or she recently enjoyed.
  • Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse. Do it with a smile and enthusiasm. Determine to change your greeting from now on.
  • Do something out of the ordinary today, something that proves that your love is based on your choice and nothing else...wash her car, clean the kitchen, buy his favorite dessert.  Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.
  • What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Run an errand, foot massage, housework...Say "I cherish you" in a practical way and do it with a smile.

There are 42 challenges in the book. I can't imagine a marriage NOT being WOW after 42 days of challenges like this! The devotions that go along with each one help you to see how to love from God's perspective and are VERY helpful.


How would you like to add more WOW factor to your marriage?  No, I'm not getting any 'money' for recommending this book (at least so far I never have earned any 'Amazon earnings' Lol!)...I'm just wanting to inspire you to show love to your spouse in a more practical way and this book helps, if you want it. (half.com is cheaper). This month, I plan to read this book with hubby every day as a gift we can give each other. I know he wants to do this, and this takes that pressure off of him to 'figure love out'. :o)

If you are struggling in your marriage, like the guy in the movie, "Fireproof", this could change everything! 

Rarely is trouble in a marriage 'one sided'.  When we give to our spouses, the overflow often comes back in our direction. 
 

Too often, both of the spouses decide to quit giving...and the result is the death of a marriage. Someone has to start the ball rolling again.  Could it be you?  

 


My prayer is that we ALL celebrate our 50th..and more in the next few years. 

Happy Anniversary...to all of us!


(but especially to my Dear Hubby. :o)




Linking with these lovely ladies' Tea Parties..and Sites..


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13 comments:

claudia b said...

What a sweet post, Donna. And how true. My hubby is an all around awesome guy. He got me new turquoise curtains because I love the color, hung up my new wreath because I'm short :D and made me nutella banana crepes last night! we do have our rough days sometimes but he really tries to make everyday a happy one for me. the little things of everyday build up to show his love and care to me. i wouldn't change him for the world. or mr. knightley!

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Happy Anniversary! Wow, what a wonderful post. Not enough people realize what true love is, which is why there are so many divorces. You are so right about Hollywood. They have an anti-family agenda.

Christi L. said...

Happy Anniversary guys!!!!

We are thankful to have so many great examples of real love in our lives. You and Tim are always SUPER examples of that!! Thank you for sharing with us.

Caroline said...

Have been reading your posts from time to time but haven't commented lately. Your new photo is great!!

Our bible study recently did "The husband project" by Kathi Lipp -- alot of the same principles you were sharing. Always good to have a reminder ... Congrats on 24 years! Our 10th is next week.

Hope you got some rain over your way!

Donna said...

I'm so glad you all enjoyed this post. What I've shared, I've learned over many years and having messed up many times.

Thank goodness for great books like this one. :o)

Yes--we got rain!! And I almost ended up in a ditch due to the mud. My neighbor did end up stuck and her hubby had to come home from work, get the tractor, and pull her out. It was a LOT of rain!

Donna said...

Claudie, you make me laugh. :o) Mr. Knightly is pretty awesome--no doubt about that..but he IS FICTION--not the real thing. LoL!

Between you, me and the Fencepost said...

Donna, your post really spoke to me today. I have been blaming Aaron and fighting with him. It seems we are on opposite sides of everything lately ! Thanks to your post, I am inspired immediately to go do something kind for my amazing husband. Today, I will get the ball rolling again.

xo Anita

Donna said...

I'm so glad Anita. I had a feeling you would like this one. :o)

Donna said...

Happy Anniversary Caroline!!

...and Anita..I'm so VERY proud of you. I pray the Lord will give you the grace to love your hubby from the heart and leave the past in His hands.

A marriage is worth protecting, nurturing, and even fighting for. :o)

xo
Donna

Wanda Lee said...

Dear Donna,

What a timely and wonderful post! We do need to pay extra special loving attention to the man God has blessed us with as a spouse! Loved your teatime with the girls as well!

Blessing and hugs from Wanda Lee

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby! Sorry, I had to link up and run this morning. Just got home and remembered I must leave a comment. 1 Cor. 13 is a most important chapter for anyone. Great post and I enjoyed your tea with the ladies. Enjoy your week!

Blessings,
Sandi

Kathy said...

This is terrific - I highly agree! Congratulations on your anniversary! Love both movies and the book - a great tool to keep you refreshed and to inspire!
Thank you for hosting this Delightsome tea party and thank you for sharing this with A Return to Loveliness!
God Bless,
Kathy

Maria Killam said...

Happy Anniversary darling Donna! I loved this post about love and the photo of the two of you at the end was the best!!
xo
Maria

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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