“If you miss the level of intimacy you once shared with your spouse, one of the best ways to unlock their heart again is by making a commitment to know them. Study them.” – Dare to Love
In the Gospel of Mark, a leper approaches Jesus. He kneels before the Lord and asks to be healed. Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said to him, “I will.” Mark 1:40-45
Jesus, was moved with compassion for this sick man.
Unfortunately, our English language does no justice to the emotion indicated here in the Greek.
Compassion doesn’t mean that Jesus felt sorry for him. It doesn’t just mean that Jesus had pity or empathy for this leper.
No. Compassion (σπλαγχνίζομαι) means to actually get in the middle of the mess.
“Jesus was moved to take on the burden of the leper.” – Kendrick
Jesus wants to be in the middle of our mess, too. In the thick of our hardship. In the midst of our pain. In the midst of our joys -He rejoices with us. We are his delight.
Jesus has compassion like none other. He loves. He listens.
Listen: to hear something with thoughtful attention : give consideration; to be alert.
So it should be with our spouse. Kendrick says, “listening to your mate is one of the best ways to live with understanding.”
The ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Proverbs 10:14
Love pursues. Love asks questions. Love listens.
Brent internalizes so much. I have to ask lots of questions to get into his world.
Not the case for me. I am an open book. Or open blog, if you will.
But, I want to be a good listener for Brent. A student of him, so to speak.
And this doesn’t mean giving advice, trying to fix him or assuming I know how he feels. (I’m bad about all of this)
No, listening means to give him thoughtful attention. Being alert to what he is saying and giving him consideration. Getting into his mess. Stepping into his hardship, bearing his burden, rejoicing with him and delighting in his victories.
Love Dare #4: Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer. Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you’ve rarely talked about. Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.
It goes without saying that having three boys is an obstacle when preparing a romantic dinner for two.
So last night, once the boys were in bed, we planned a special date night. And nothing says special date night better than stove top popcorn.
A little olive oil and sea salt…
Medium heat. And once that little guy pops….
Add a half cup of his closest friends.
Brent loves this stuff. Not me. It makes me cough.
But its not about me, right?
Shake, shake, shake. Pop. Pop. Pop. And voilà!
The Love Dare suggests three questions to spark conversation. We thought they were a little cheesy (pun intended), so we asked our own:
1. What are a few things that are bringing you life right now?
2. What are you looking forward to over the next few weeks/months?
3. How can I be praying for you?
It was a sweet time. No TV. No Internet.
And our stove top popcorn.
What might you do with your spouse? Can you think of some good questions to spark conversation?
Oooh! I like this idea! Like you, it's hard to have alone time at home! Usually once the kids go to bed, he works while I take a bath before bed! But we have a grown-up movie we've been wanting to watch one of these nights. Maybe we can have some talk time before we watch it!