Strike Three! You’re Out!
What’s so aMayzing about Unconditional Love?
I didn’t finish strong at all!
I had a few minutes to water our flowers and they needed it. We have a couple of those short expanding hoses that look like snakes slithering when you turn the water on, so watering was quick and easy.
While watering, I noticed that a couple of the plants were wilting in the heat. I remembered that we had purchased some Miracle Grow that I had not used, and I took a few more minutes to mix the Miracle Grow and water the flowers a second time.
As I was walking toward the back yard to water our tomato plants, I noticed that our outside air condenser was covered with pollens. I know what that can do to energy prices, so I took some more time to use the long hose to spray it off. Then, I returned to watering the tomato plants.
About 30 minutes later, JL and I were in the garage about to go for our evening walk. She noticed that the Miracle Grow box was open and the top was off. I had not finished that job. As I moved to put the top on, she watched me nearly stepped on a bottle of weed killer that I had left on the garage floor a couple of weeks earlier. I picked it up, opened the garage door, and JL was the first to notice a stream of water flowing from our back yard, down the driveway, and down the street as far you one could see. I had left the water after washing the condenser. Three tasks unfinished. I told you I didn’t finish strong.
JL is a strong finisher. When she starts something, she follows through to completion. Her cleans up her workspace. It is something she wishes was truer about me. If her love was based on my performance, I would have just made 3 strikes. Strike Three! You are out!
There was a time when she would have approached me with a “strike three” kind of irritation. She might have kept quiet at the Miracle Grow top. She would have been critical about the weed killer on the floor. She would have expressed contempt about my forgetfulness with the water, making sure to point out the waste of money that went with the waste of water. I would have been defensive, emphasizing how at least I was watering our plants and noticing the pollen pile-up. The walk would have been characterized by stonewalling and belligerence.
Now, our mindset is to love each other unconditionally. Since her love for me was not diminished by my follow-through failure, she pointed out the Miracle Grow, asked me nicely to put up the weed killer, and shook her head with a smile on her face when she saw the waterfall. There was no urge for me to be defensive and I was able to reflect myself on my desire to become more of a follow-through person. I know that would be great for our lives.
No lasting connection is created when connection is dependent on performance. Intimacy can’t live in that environment. We all mess up too many ways (James 3:2).
Practicing unconditional love is a decision. It is a mindset.
How would your relationship change if each of you knows that the relationship isn’t at risk just because performance is weak?