I confess. I have a love-hate relationship with Brad Pitt. I found myself enjoying his acting (love), but every girl I have ever had a crush on was in love with him (hate). Thus, I was reticent to post this due to that strange relationship. Yet, I found his explanation of loving by volition to be so instructive that I could not help but post it.

“My girl got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and children. She lost 30 pounds and weighted about 90 pounds. She got very skinny and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman. She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs. She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the mornings and got tired very quickly during the day.

Our relationship was on the verge of a break up. Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself. She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role. I lost hope and thought that we’ll get separated soon…

But then I decided to act. After all I’ve got the MOST Beautiful Woman on earth. She is the idol of more than half of men and women on earth, and I was the one allowed to fall asleep next to her and to hug her. I began to shower her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised and pleased her every minute. I gave her a lot of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends. You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became better. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and loved me even more than ever. I had no clue that she CAN love that much.

And then I realized one thing: the woman is the reflection of her man.

If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.”

I may take issue with his calling her “the MOST beautiful woman in the world.” After all, this video shares my sentiments in a very humorous way (worth the time!!)

I want to draw your attention to a few things he says that are great reminders for how men ought to love their significant others:

1. In spite of how he was feeling towards her, he decided to act. He decided to act. He intentionally turned his actions and affections toward her in a concerted way. The result? “She blossomed.” She began to come alive.

2. Expect the object of your love to change. In fact, this is inherent to being human. We change both everyday and over a series of days. I am not the same man I was eleven years–and I am SO thankful!

3. His view of decision, reconfigures his love. Notice that their relationship was on the verge of breakup due to the darkness she was going through. Love was primarily defined by things going well.

4. The woman is the reflection of her man. Such a great way to put it! The converse is also true–but that’s for another blog post. I at times wonder how my affections toward my beloved are reflected in her life.  I have an amazing wife. She is sacrificial. Loves people. Serves with nothing expected in return. Feels deeply when people hurt and rejoice. Is the best friend toward me. Is my ideal for friendship. Prays constantly for those she loves. I could go on, but I digress. Tim and Kathy Keller challenge us to look at our spouses through the lens of eternity. What are the wonderful qualities that God has bestowed on this person you love. How might he use these gifts to reflect his glory to a watching world? What might they look like 10 years from now. Look to that future person, and love them in that regard. If you want him/her to be more tender or more assertive, love them in that regard. Don’t clench your fists. Open your hand and accept them as they are. Help them see what they could be through time and conversation–not through shaking fists or rolling eyes.

In case you didn’t click the video, I thought I’d share it here.