Forced Love

by Audrey on February 14th, 2014

Over 250 years have passed since Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote these words:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life;
and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.

With Valentine's Day and its "forced love" (as my husband says with a smile) here, I have a challenge for you.  If you are married, count the ways you love your husband and write them down.  Yes, I'm challenging you to make a list.  I'm challenging you to only think about the things you admire, appreciate, and really love about that man you married.  There were reasons you chose to marry him.  Remember them.  Let yourself count them - at  least one for every year you've know him and then, after you've made it, draw some hearts and kissy-things on it . . . and then give it to him.  Make it meaningful.  Force yourself to do this - that is, if you're up to the challenge.  And I know, I know, for some - it really IS a challenge.

Then after you make your list, thank God for those qualities in his life.  Ask God to bless that man.  Ask God to help that man.  Ask God to remind you of the love you seem, sometimes, to lose.  Then ask God to help you love him better. Ask God to help you love him freely, purely, with passion put to use, with your childhood's faith.  With smiles and tears of all your life.

And for those of you who are not married,  thank God for the marriages you see all around you.  Ask God to bless those marriages - that the husband and wife would be quick to forgive each other and choose to love all the days of their lives.  

And for all of us,  thank God for the demonstration of the greatest love of all time - "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

His love wasn't forced.  He freely gave it.  And so can we.

Happy Forced-Love Day ;) 


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Angie - February 16th, 2014 at 8:39 PM
This is such a fantastic idea, I think I will do this belatedly for my you, I don't really believe that a Hallmark holiday where he's obligated to buy me flowers shows any true love. Great post.

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