What does love require of me—right now?

As my men’s group started a discussion on marriage, I wanted to give the guys a memory jogger—a way to remember to respond better to their wives. I wanted a question like the once-popular “WWJD” bracelets: “What would Jesus do?”

But Jesus wasn’t married.

Then I remembered something Andy Stanley said: “In light of my past experience, my present circumstances, and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?”

Awesome. All-encompassing. But too long for a wristband. It needed to be pointed, poignant, and powerful.

As I listened to a podcast, there it was:What does love require of me—right now?”  

I added “right now” because I know we husbands have to be quick. In a moment, we can either bless or curse our wives. A scowl curses. A smile blesses. A cynical remark curses. A squeeze of her hand blesses.

I thought about various moments in my marriage, those flashpoint times when something was said, something wasn’t done. When I felt criticized, let down, or taken for granted, how did I respond? How did I want to respond? These scenarios came to mind as I considered how adopting “What does love require of me—right now” could influence me.

Scenario #1:

Her: “Oh, honey, I forgot to mail that package for you.”

Me (in my mind): WHAT? That’s the purchase order for the biggest sale I’ve made all year! How could you just forget the one thing I asked you to do for me today?

I want to exhibit forgiveness, kindness, and self-control.

What does love require of me—right now?”  

Me: “I know you had a busy day. Could you take it for me tomorrow?”

Scenario #2:

            Her: “I’m going on to sleep now. We have a big day with the kids tomorrow.”

Me (in my mind): This was date night. When are we supposed to have our time?

How could I demonstrate selflessness, compassion, acceptance, and patience? What does love require of me—right now?”  

Me: “Sleep well. Thanks for all you do for our family.”

What does love require of me—right now?” may be the most useful question for couples. If married life is about choosing to love one another in the right now moments, what better way to manage our thoughts and words as we interact with our spouses? The word “love” in the question makes it actionable. And I like the word “require” too. It reminds us, “Hey, this ain’t optional.”

Love may require something totally different than the opportunity presented by the right now moment. You may want to examine how to change something in the relationship. You may think you need to exert “tough love.” A deeper issue may need to be discussed, or you may need to stand up for myself.

Those bigger relational considerations require thought, prayer, wise counsel, and time. And right now may not be the best time to address them. But we do have time in those daily moments to ask ourselves, “What does love require of me right now?” and choose to respond intentionally.

Stop and ask yourself this question and see how it changes your marriage.