It's very quiet at my house this minute. Mr. H has gone for a run, Em is still asleep after returning from a camp job for the past few days, and El is still in Montana. I was sitting in my favorite chair just now, knitting (something for me this time!), and thinking of all the things I have to be thankful for.
The list is quite long: I have 3 daughters that I love very much, who also don't mind being with me. They call when they need advice, when they are excited, and sometimes just whenever. I have a comfortable home, a job that I enjoy, and things I like to do. But at the top of my list of all these earthly things, there is my husband. He is always the first one I am thankful for.
He is patient and kind. In fact, he is all the things that 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of. He loves me unconditionally. And then I started thinking, how do we really know if someone loves us unconditionally? People can't read each other's minds, we can't see into someone else's heart. So how do we really know?
What we can see is the evidence. In the 35 years we have been together, there has never been a time when his actions or words didn't display his love. I can't see into his head or heart, but I can see the outward evidence.
When I made that connection, I had an epiphany: We can display unconditional love to anyone we choose. It doesn't matter how we feel about them. What matters is the evidence. What does that other person see in our actions and hear in our words to them and about them?
You may be thinking that it's hypocritical to make someone think we love them when we don't always feel that way. Why? What have we lost? Have we injured someone by showing them love?
It's not about what we can get out of a relationship.
It's about the value we can add to a relationship.