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We Need More Love

Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive. How easily do you get irritated and offended? Some spouse's never pass up an opportunity to get upset with their mate. When something goes wrong, they quickly take full advantage of the situation by expressing how hurt or frustrated they are. Or they put their spouse down to show how powerful they can be. This is so wrong.....and is the opposite reaction of what love in your marriage should act like. When you are irritable your inner self is tense. It's like being like a pointed object, feeling ready to jab if the chance comes along. People who become irritable are in a locked position, loaded like a gun, and can at any moment overreact. Something hurtful and negative has caused the irritation and though you may not want to be irritated an unsuitable situation in your marriage brought on that feeling. You do love your spouse, but hurtful words or being neglected causes sadness and it's hard not to respond when it hurts so deep, to not to get irritated. When you are under pressure, love doesn't need to turn sour. Minor problems don't yield major reactions. It's hard to understand, but love does not get angry unless there is a legitimate and just reason in the sight of God. A loving husband will remain calm and patient, showing mercy and restraining his temper. Rage and violence should always be out of the question. A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly during prickly situations. I know that's easier said than done. If you are walking under the influence of love, you will be a joy, not a jerk. Ask yourself, "Am I a calming breeze, or a storm waiting to happen? "Life is a marathon, not a sprint. This means you must balance, prioritize, and pace yourself. Too often we tend to throw caution to the wind and run full steam ahead, doing what feels right at the moment and soon we are gaping for air, wound up in knots, and ready to snap. The increasing pressure wears away at our patience and our relationship. There are two key reasons that contribute to irritability. Stress being number one. Stress weighs you down, drains your energy, weakens your health, and invites you to be in a cranky state of mind. It can be brought on by relational causes: arguing, division, and bitterness. There are excessive causes: overworking, overplaying, and overspending. There are also deficiencies: not getting enough rest, nutrition, or exercise. Often times we inflict these daggers on ourselves, and this in turn sets us up to be irritable. Selfishness is primarily the heart of all problems. Matthew 12:34 says, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule. Selfishness also wears many other masks: Lust, for example, is the result of being ungrateful for what you have and choosing to covet or burn with passion for something that is forbidden. When your heart is lustful, it will become easily frustrated and angered. Bitterness takes root when someone responds in a judgmental way and refuses to work through anger. A bitter person's unresolved anger leaks out when he is provoked. For selfish reasons you feel unfulfilled and therefore lash out at anyone, and in your home it's usually your spouse that gets mistreated. Pride also leads you to act harshly in order to protect your ego and reputation. Unfortunately your motivations of selfishness and pride will never give you satisfaction in what's real happiness. Love will lead you to forgive instead of holding a grudge; to be grateful instead of greedy; to be content rather than rushing into more debt, if that's a problem for you. Learn to love through getting connected with God first. Through God is where you learn what love is all about. He would never treat you unkindly no matter how unlovable you may be. He would never disrespect you. If He's your example: than follow His lead and let His kind of love lower your stress level and help you release the venom that may have built up inside you. Respond to your spouse by showing love with patience and encouraging words rather than anger and exasperation (My thoughts with The Love Dare, Day 6). Sherry

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