“You want me to do what?”  I screeched at my husband when he asked me if I would go with him to his High School reunion.  “But, I won’t know anyone but YOU,” my former insecure and shy self responded.

Has your spouse ever asked you to do something that you were diametrically opposed to doing?

I recently had the privilege of attending another fantastic marriage-focused weekend event put on by San Diego’s own The Marriage Resource.  There were several renowned speakers throughout the weekend whose teachings provided me with many precious “nuggets” to put into practice in my own marriage.  One nugget provided by an amazing lover of God by the name of Kathleen Hart was called The Love Gift.

Here’s how it works: You choose to do something for your partner that you really do NOT want to do because you know it will make him or her happy.

Example #1:  Your wife has been home with the kids all week while you have been traveling on business.  All you’re looking forward to is coming home and staying put all weekend.  But when you get home on Friday, she tells you she is in desperate need of a date night with you, ASAP!  What to do…?

Example #2:  You have been home with the kids all week while your husband has been out of town on business.  You are tired, grumpy and in desperate need for some rest and time for yourself.  Your husband returns from all of his stressful traveling and wants to re-connect with you…literally!  Arrrg!  What to do…?

This is where The Love Gift comes into play–your spouse has just presented you with an opportunity to place their happiness over your own discomfort.  This is why it’s called the love gift—the sole motivation behind it is love.   But keep in mind there are a couple of rules that go along with it.

Rule #1:  You cannot ask for a love gift; it has to be given freely with no strings attached.

Rule #2:  It has to be something that you do not want to do.

Rule#3:  Once you give the love gift you forfeit the right to complain about it to your spouse.

Maybe you’re thinking; “but what’s in it for me?”  Actually, quite a bit.  It’s an opportunity to bless your better half.  You will grow as a person more fully into the image of Jesus Christ with each unselfish act. And in the process you will become a happier person because you have just said yes to a possible bonding experience with your mate.

As far as my husband’s High School Reunion…yes I agreed to go, despite all of my personal reservations. We had a five-hour car ride to his reunion, which afforded me time to peruse his senior yearbook where I got a glimpse of his life before we met.  We had the time to talk without distraction and I enjoyed learning more about this man that is my partner in life. By the time we entered the hotel hosting the reunion, I felt that I already knew his friends and felt a part of his school.  I ended up having more fun at his reunion than I had at any of mine.  Believe it or not, I can’t wait until his next one.  It leaves me wondering who really got the Love Gift…him or me?

Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”  Luke 6:38