In my previous post, we covered the first two ways you can prove your love to your spouse: transparency/honesty, and loving them when they’re unloveable.* If you haven’t yet, I recommend quickly clicking back to give it a glance (it’s reasonably short), as it sets the stage for the series.
Naturally this post will continue with parts 3 and 4 of the series, so let’s dive right in!
3: Dream their dreams with them
Nothing fills me with vigor and life quite like Selena’s support. I love dreaming with her about our life together: what God’s is doing in us and what the future may look like. This desire and ability to dream is very unique to humans: we can anticipate, plan, and envision what could be. I don’t know of any other creatures on Earth which have this unique ability. I would even say it is an attribute of God he imprinted on us – like the human abilities to be creative and feel emotion.
When you join your spouse in their dreams, you participate in the deepest parts of their desire and longing. It’s truly a surreal experience. Keep in mind, I’m not just talking about humoring them and hearing them out; I’m talking about genuinely empathizing with them and feeling with them in their dreams.
Quick example: Selena had a “pipe dream” to move to Switzerland in 2005 when we graduated college. She sheepishly approached me with an opportunity to live and work on an amateur horse training facility in Zurich. I could see the desire in her eyes and hear it in her voice. Three weeks later we were living in Zurich. She has never forgotten that experience (and neither have I!).
If you couple this ability to dream with deep love in your marital relationship, you’ve got a sure-fire way to show someone you love them. It may not be a move across the world, but you get the point.
4: Be gentle with your words, reactions, and assumptions
In marriage we tend to judge our spouse by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. What if it were the other way around? What if we judged ourselves by our actions and our spouses by their intentions? Well, for starters, we would have much more empathetic marriages! We’d seek to understand the intentions (and deep seated reasons for actions) of our spouses.
Gentleness is one concept/word that gets us headed in the right direction. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” (NLT) Gentleness is a method of acting and communicating that takes into account the other persons situation, perception, and feeling. Gentleness is not easy, as it forces you to do anything but your knee-jerk reaction.
Gentleness isn’t for the weak. The gentlest people I know are the strongest I can imagine. Jesus is the best example: who else is more justified in being impatient toward us? Yet Jesus is consistently and lovingly gentle to those who need it most. (Yes, he does get very angry with pharisees – just what they needed for him to get through to them, I suppose).
What tone are you using? What’s your timing like? What “buzzwords” are sure to set your spouse off? Be gentle in how you react to your spouse. Be gentle in how you speak to them – never using harsh or hurtful words intentionally. And also, be gentle in how you assume their perspective; what are they dealing with internally? How can you be kind and gentle to them exactly where they’re at?
Can we really prove love?
Truly proving love at all is perhaps impossible without lots of God’s grace and help. My prayer is that both you and your spouse experience God’s grace in order to learn to love each other wholeheartedly His way.
This post certainly isn’t an all-inclusive guide to perfectly proving your love, but hopefully I’ve provided some helpful insights to get you further down that path.
Question: How can you prove your love to your spouse in the coming weeks?
Encouraging Marriage Quotes and Images
Sharing openly with friends is a great way to encourage others and reinforce to yourself what you believe. Just click an image and select where to share it – the quote will be pre-populated. There are many more images to share available here.
* Please note these posts aren’t meant to be comprehensive “guides” to loving, but rather provide an encouraging, challenging, and unique perspective for you to consider. Proving your love is a strong phrase so I thought some clarity would be good.