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LOVE WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS ...
"Little Chad was a shy, quiet boy. One day he came home and told his mother he'd like to make a valentine for everyone in his class. Her heart sank. She thought, 'I wish he wouldn't do that.' She had watched the children when they walked home from school. Her Chad was always behind them. They laughed and hung on to each other and talked to each other. But Chad was never included.
Chad's mother decided she would go along with her son. She purchased the paper, glue and crayons. For three whole weeks, night after night, Chad painstakingly made 35 valentines. Valentine's Day came and Chad was beside himself with excitement. He carefully stacked them up, put them in a bag, and bolted out the door. His mom decided to bake him his favorite cookies to eat when he came home from school. She just knew he would be disappointed -- maybe that would ease the pain a little. It hurt her to think he wouldn't receive many valentines -- maybe none at all.
That afternoon she had the cookies and a glass of milk on the table. When she heard voices she looked out the window. Sure enough, here they came, laughing and having the best time. And as always, there was Chad in the rear. But he was talking a little faster than usual. She fully expected him to burst into tears as soon as he was inside.
His arms were empty, she noticed, and when the door opened, she choked back her own tears. 'Mommy has some warm cookies and milk for you,' she said. But he hardly heard her words. He just marched right on by, his face shining, and all he could say was: 'Not one -- not a one.' Her heart sank. And then he added, 'I didn't forget a one, Mom, not a single one.'"
(From COMING OUT OF THE DARKNESS by Mary Southerland published by Harvest House)
This story is a wonderful picture of Christ's love for us! In Ephesians 5:25 Paul wrote, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her ..."
Think about it -- Christ loved the church and gave His life with NO GUARANTEE that any of us would respond to His love! But he did it for us -- unconditionally -- and He didn't miss a single one! As you think about His love for you, may it be a reminder of the love that we need to show our wives. Are you loving your mate unconditionally? Without expectations?