Excerpt from Love & War Participant's Guide by John & Stasi Eldredge.
Love plays itself out in what seems like such unremarkable ways — you pick up your socks, you ignore their snarky comment, you put the toilet seat down. But this is exactly what makes it epic — the fact that love plays itself out in a thousand little choices, unseen and without supporting soundtrack. That's what makes it so beautiful.
I'll run to the store. We can watch your show. Yes, you can dim the lights. No, I don't mind if you go out tonight. Would you like a little of my cookie?
I [was] thinking about my reputation, not my wife's heart.
We meet these moments every day. This morning, we had to get down to an event for which we were the keynote speakers. Stasi and I agreed last night we'd better leave the house at eight. It is now ten after and she's not ready; she's futzing in the bathroom. It's moments like these that reveal what fuels us. Hey, you were the one who said eight. Let's go. Why am I tweaked? What's with the compulsion, the anxiousness? Isn't it really about wanting to get on top of things, making sure we make a good impression? It is godless; I'm thinking about my reputation, not my wife's heart.
So, I sat at the kitchen table and finished my oatmeal, had a cup of tea. I simply waited until she came out and said, "I'm ready." I didn't even get in that little dig men savor — "Finally." These are the little choices we are making every day. We are learning to love...
Choosing to Love
Every time we choose to love, we take a step closer to God; it's like he's right there. Every time we choose something else, we take a step away. I want God, so I choose love.
Don't get me wrong—I love Stasi, more than ever. Sometimes it scares me how much I love her, because my heart feels so utterly out there, so entirely vulnerable... Then we read the Scriptures telling us to love one another "as God loved us," and ... that trail leads to a crown of thorns.
Pardon the grammar, but it don't come easy. Falling in love is how God gives us a push in the right direction. But then we have to choose. And we are going to need a very compelling reason to lay down our lives, day after day, year after year. To make those thousand little choices, for the thousand-and-oneth little time. Something needs to compel us.
What could be more compelling than this? When we abandon ourselves to love, we find ourselves closer to the One who is always doing that himself. We find God.
-John and Stasi Eldredge
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