Greetings fellow readers,

I thought I would jump on here real quick and put a challenge out there to all the REAL MEN in the world.  Fellas, we have to do better.  Yes, I’m talking to YOU.  Believe me, when I say YOU, I’m including myself as well.  Currently, I am trying to nurse a sick daughter and sick wife back to health (somehow I caught their cold for only 4 hrs and I feel fine…whew!), and all I keep hearing in my head is….”Loving you, is all I wanna do…Loving you, is all I wanna do…Loving you, said Loving You, is all that I, All that I wanna do, babaaaaaay, babaaaay, babaaaaaay….whoaaaa ohhhhh oohhhhh oh!”.

Sidebar:  big shout outs to Mary J. Blige for that song.  Seriously, some songs are just timeless.

When is the last time you loved someone unconditionally?  To all my married brotha’s out there, I challenge you to love your wife as if she were a newborn baby.  Right now, we have our little “munchkin” as the wife likes to call her, and I find myself learning to love in a whole new way each and every day.  I think back to when my son was born, and I remember feeling so helpless while living in California.  I remember on his 2nd birthday, I spoke to him over the phone, and then cried like a BABY before I could even get off the phone.  2 months later, I had a job in Columbus, OH, which was only a drive to Indiana instead of a 5 hr flight plus 3 hr drive.  All for LOVE.  Because of my love and need to be closer to my son, I now have a beautiful wife and daughter.  I would have NEVER moved back to the midwest if it weren’t for him.  Fast forward to 2011, and we have a newborn in the house. Needless to say, she’s a handful.  Looks like me, but every ounce of her personality screams “MY MOMMY IS TACOMA PERRY, SO PLEASE KNOW IT’S MY WAY, OR NO WAY”…with a smile.  Seriously, she’s smart, cunning, and smooth, just like her Momma.  And I say that with HIGH PRAISE, because her mother is one of the most incredible people I have ever met.  I know, I sound biased, but I’m being real with you.  I didn’t choose Tacoma by “accident”.

But here is where I am asking you fellas about the last time you have loved someone unconditionally.  See, I actually wake up every night between 3 a.m-4 a.m. to feed the little booger.  Then I wake up again around 6:30 to feed her again, and we rest or sleep until 7:45 to start our day.  Now, if you have heard my wife tell it, I would “choose death if it weren’t so final” over waking up.  And there is some truth to that, because I CHERISH sleep.  But somehow this creature, this precious little munchkin, has totally softened me to the thought of waking up.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not “easy”.  I actually wake up with a slight scowl, because she wakes up CRYING and SCREAMING 9x out of 10.  But here’s the kicker…the minute I go to change her diaper, or warm her bottle, or just rock her, she gives me the BIGGEST GUMMY SMILE IN THE WORLD, and I just MELT.  Seriously, I just melt, and I realize I don’t care how tired I am, or how tired I’ll be the next day, or what I still need to do once I do get up to get ready for work…NONE OF IT MATTERS, BECAUSE AT THAT MOMENT, I LOVE THIS BEAUTIFUL CHILD MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD!  Doesn’t matter how upset I am she ruined the few hrs of sleep I got away with.  Doesn’t matter she ruined that dream of her Mom, where…Oops, this is PG, so never mind that dream.  But seriously, nothing else matters in that “moment”, because I know I have a gift from GOD, planted here on Earth, for me to raise and nurture to glorify HIS name and bring HIM JOY!  See, in that one smile, I find unconditional love.  Unfiltered, clean, pure, LOVE.

Now, when’s the last time you looked at your wife through THOSE eyes?  Seriously, when is the last time you looked at your wife and realized you have nothing but PURE, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for that woman?  I pray she is a woman of God, who challenges you to do great things in HIS name.  Realize, regardless of who she is, or what she has done, you CHOSE her.  For her faults and all, you chose this woman to build a life, to create a family (with or without kids, she is YOUR FAMILY NOW), to grow as ONE in your WALK.  Or a better question….HAVE YOU MADE THAT CHOICE IN YOUR HEART!?  This is what I had to realize.  See, when I wake up 2-3x a night to take care of our child, even at my most tired moment, she makes me give her unconditional, PURE love, by just SMILING at me.  It’s the same feeling I had when I had my son over night for the first time.  This un-brittled JOY to see this life I helped create.  This is EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and MORNING.  Do you wake up with this same joy for the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE?  If I love God above all things, and my wife next, I know I will NEVER go wrong.

In life, and love, there will always be trials and tribulations.  We will be stretched beyond our wildest means.  I know, for a FACT, my wife and I haven’t even gone through our “roughest patch” yet.  I mean, come on, it’s only been 2 years, one month, and a day of marriage at this point.  But here’s what I also know…EACH DAY I WILL WAKE UP, GIVE GOD HONOR AND PRAISE, AND THANK HIM FOR BLESSING ME WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PRESENTING THIS INCREDIBLE WOMAN TO HIM “WITHOUT STAIN OR WRINKLE OR ANY OTHER BLEMISH, BUT HOLY AND BLAMELESS” (Ephesians Chp 5).  See, in our household, everything starts and ends with ME.  If we succeed, it’s because we did so as a UNIFIED TEAM.  And if we FAIL, it’s because I wasn’t diligent in my duties as a righteous husband, who leads his home.  Notice WE WIN as a team, but as CAPTAIN, ALL LOSSES ARE MINE!  This is true in LOVE as well.

Which brings me back to my point….LOVE WITHOUT A LIMIT!  If she is mad at you, LOVE HER.  If you are mad at her, LOVE HER.  If she did something that really upset you and made you want to commit mass murder, PRAY, and then LOVE HER UNCONDITIONALLY!  When you LOVE ON HER, make sure you do it with the eyes of your newborn.  Or better yet, love her THROUGH THE EYES OF A NEWBORN.  Our little “munchkin” looks at us, with our flaws and all, and she just smiles.  And when she smiles, I feel as if the world just stops.  I can feel the unfiltered love she gives us, and I give it right back.  When I see her and my wife look at each other, or just play and make gaga noises, my heart fills with joy.  When you feel you are hitting a “rough patch” (Not IF, but WHEN, because face it, WE ALL DO!), just remember that “newborn joy” you felt when you got married.  NEVER lose that.  This is the same love I promise to give my wife, through good times, bad times, sickness and in health, til death do us part.  When the day comes for us to no longer walk God’s Earth and go home, you should leave knowing you laid it all out on the line to LOVE HER WITHOUT A LIMIT!  If you do this in all walks of your life, she will have no choice but to LOVE you back.

Renew yourself DAILY in your love with her, and explode with JOY for the gift you have been presented!!!  Now, to all my SINGLE fellas out there…I challenge you to find a righteous, God Fearing woman whom you can LOVE like this every day of your life.  Remember, Jesus said it best in 1 Corinthians 13:13: And now these three remain:  faith, hope and love. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.