Love All of Him

May 21, 2010

in the generous life

A concept that I keep running into is the difference between genuine love (that gives and serves) and conditional love (that demands certain behavior as a requisite for affection and approval).

During the time that God started nudging me about generosity, I saw that I wasn’t loving all of my husband.  I loved the parts that were comfortable or that blessed me in some way.  My husband tended to hide the “difficult” parts so that he didn’t have to deal with my bad attitudes (being real here).  I realized that in a very real way I was guilty of giving “love” that was conditional.  I didn’t want to hear about his sexual needs.  I was grumpy about his messiness (even when he was being genuinely creative) and there were days when I didn’t want to hear another word about rooks or bishops (check mate, pleeeaase).  I was very much judging my husband by my standards of what was “good” and “bad.”  I was not opening my eyes to the uniqueness and wonder of who God created him to be.  I was in effect telling God that I knew better how my husband should be.  Ouch.

I was not truly loving all of him and, in that, I was hurting him, sometimes in the most intimate of ways.

I did some hard thinking and some even harder living after that.  I chose to love him as he was and I made a point of loving and giving regardless of what he was doing or how he was acting.  I loved all of him… and continue to.

I encourage y’all to do some similar heart searching.  Are you trying to govern your husband’s behavior with your own system of rewards and punishments?  Can you open yourself a bit wider to love all that he is and value all that God made him to be?  I’m not suggesting that you condone sin or that you lie about what you like and don’t like.  I’m suggesting that you give your husband room to be himself, all of himself, and be accepting of his differences and quirks.

God does not make clones. Each person is different, a tribute to God’s creativity. If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we must accept people as they are and not demand that they conform to our own image.  Henry Fehren

Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

lcvpelt May 21, 2010 at 4:19 am

i love this post. lateley i seem to be doing this, not every day, but sometimes, like if my hub tells me he will be here at a certain time and isn’t, i get all bent out of shape and start focusing on the negative. after reading this i am gonna choose to focus on the good and love every part of him. i am gonna love who God made him and that’s just it!


Bobbie May 21, 2010 at 8:05 am

LOVE this post!! SO true and wonderful that you made us all take a good look at our own marraiges in this way..thank you~!~~


Lesli Doares May 21, 2010 at 9:16 am

I really love this post because it ties into a recent one of mine “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” where we look at our partners as fixer uppers or reclamation projects. If we want our partners to accept us for who we are, we need to be willing to accept them. In addition, if we focus on the parts of our partner we don’t like, it hones our attention to those less positive traits and we start seeing only that. It’s the whole self-fulfilling prophecy thing–we look at what we expect to see. So, thanks.


Glenna Sadler May 25, 2010 at 6:47 am

I found myself doing this because we were having some difficulties and I thought he wasn’t trying hard enough to correct “his” problem. His problems may be medical, may be mental issues, we are still exporing. When I decided – and it was a conscious decision – to love him as he is instead of being angry at the parts of him that I wasn’t happy with, our life together improved more than I can describe. We are both happier and calmer. His problems haven’t gone away. I have chosen to accept them as part of him and part of our journey together. No matter what happens, he is the love of my life and I can’t imagine not being with him. BTW, we will be married 28 years this June.


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