Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4
What is something your spouse would really, really love? And how often do you ask yourself that question?
Common sense tells us we can’t give our wife or husband everything they might like. Our budgets and account balances tell us we probably couldn’t afford it anyway. And even if we could, it might not be good for us. Or for them.
But perhaps you’ve let “no” become too quick a response. Perhaps you’ve let this negative default setting become too reasoned and rational, too automatic. What if instead of dismissing the thought, you did your best to honor it. What might happen if the one thing they said you’d never do for them became the next thing you did?
Love sometimes needs to be extravagant. To go all out. It sometimes needs to set aside the technicalities and just bless because it wants to.
Is that thinking too much like a teenager? Is love like this no longer on the menu after so many years of marriage? After all, with the way your relationship might be at the moment, wouldn’t it be less than genuine to indulge your spouse if your heart’s not in it?
Well, how about putting your heart in it. How about developing a new level of love that actually wants to fulfill every dream and desire you possibly can.
Hasn’t God’s love met needs in your heart that once seemed out of the question? You were living under such a load of sin and regret; you thought you’d never earn your way back into His good graces. But He looked at you with love and said you didn’t have to. He wanted you back. He wanted you to realize your need for Him, and that as you repented and turned to Him, He would love and forgive you. “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
You thought life was over when a certain setback took all the wind out of your sails. You broke down and cried out to Him. You prayed like you’d never prayed before. And though it wasn’t easy getting back up and walking on, you somehow survived. He met you with His promised peace “which surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:7) and kept you on your feet.
It wasn’t when you were behaving like an angel that God chose to pour out His love on you. It wasn’t when you were behaving like an angel that God chose to pour out His love on you. It wasn’t because you were so deserving that He offered you His grace. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Chris died for us” (Romans 5:8).
He’s your model. He’s the One your love is designed to imitate. Though you weren’t a likely candidate for His love, He gave it anyway. He paid the price.
Not everything your spouse wants has a hefty price tag. Not everything he or she desires can be bought with money. Your wife may really want your time. She may really want your attention. She may really want to be treated like a lady, to know that her husband considers her his greatest treasure. She may really want to see in your eyes a love that chooses to be there no matter what.
Your husband may really want your respect. He may really want you to acknowledge him as the head of the house in front of the children. He may really want you to put your arms around his neck for no apparent reason, surprising him with a long kiss or a love note when there’s not even a birthday or anniversary to justify it. He may really need to know that you still think he’s strong and handsome, the way you used to.
· Dreams and desires come in all shapes and sizes. But love takes careful notice of each one.
· Love calls you to listen to what your mate is saying and hoping for.
· Love calls you to remember the things that are unique to your relationship, the pleasures and enjoyments that bring a smile to the other’s face.
· Love calls you to give when it would be a lot more convenient to wait.
· And love calls you to daydream about these opportunities so regularly that their desires become yours as well.
We dare you to think in terms of overwhelming your spouse with love. To surprise them by exceeding all their expectations with your kindness. It may or may not be a financial sacrifice, but it needs to reflect a heart that is willing to express itself with extravagance.
What is something your spouse would really, really love? It’s time you started living out the answer to that question.
Ask yourself what your mate would want if it was obtainable. Commit this to prayer, and start mapping out a plan for meeting some (if not all) of their desires, to whatever level you possibly can.
God is able to make all grace abound to you. (2 Corinthians 9:8)