if you are married or going out: forget the myth that love is a feeling – if love is purely a feeling your relationship is doomed – run, run and keep running – cos feelings are context-linked, situation-dependent and none of us can stay on top of all of our contexts and situations – bad stuff happens, we hurt each other (hopefully by mistake) and the feeling is not always there… that’s when choice come in.

Every day when i wake up i choose to love my wife – if you are just dating then it is a lot easier cos you get to choose to some extent when to hang out with her and when you don’t feel like it or want to do other stuff – but when you’re married she is there in your space (as you are in hers) and there will be times when you are cranky or she is cranky or you’re having a bad day or whatever whatever – in that moment you have to move beyond the feelings and rely on choice.

It does sound a little bit clinical but it’s really not – it’s a reality thing – i’m not saying feelings don’t count but i’m saying they don’t count completely – your love is not feeling based – when the feelings are there you run and jump and thrive and completely enjoy them… but in that moment when the feeling is not the top most thing, then it becomes whether or not you have made and continually make the choice.

Then once you have made the choice – regardless of whether you feel it is deserved or not, regardless of whether your partner’s actions merit it or not – you have to live it out.

1 Corinthians 13 in the Bible gives a great picture of choice love and some of the statements it includes are ‘Love does not keep a record of wrongs’ and ‘Love always protects, always hopes, always perseveres’ and so you really need to start incorporating these in your relationship if you haven’t. They will totally transform your lives i cannot tell you. And one thing you absoolutely have to grasp and hold on to with all your might is the Jesus taught example of ‘love the other person above yourself’ – it is not always easy and i’m sure i get it wrong a lot of the time but the times when i manage to choose Val above me (it can be washing the dishes when i know she doesn’t want to or beating her to hang up the washing – um not physically beating her, that is bad, i mean getting there before her, it can be making her coffee in bed or buying her flowers or giving her time when i want it for myself or choice of movie or food or whatever – so many things) it is just amazing and i actually benefit so much from it

if i make Val happy, then i am happy

so choose to love, every day when you wake up choose to love the person who you are with again and then live it out…

it is amazing. transform your love lives.

dating people, if you can’t choose to love that person every day, then perhaps you need to consider that dating them is not what you should be doing…

[For the next part of ‘How to Love your woman better’ – Saying it. – click here.]

[To return to the start of this series, click here]