"I don’t encourage you to take Saturday’s off because I want something back. I’m not offering you that time so that I can take an equal amount. There are no strings attached," I said. "I just love you."  
 The air hung tense and awkward. Arguments seem to produce that kind of air. My wife and I wrangled on and on about something we couldn’t quite put our collective finger on. There were all kinds of miscommunication swirling around. Sometimes arguments take on a life of their own and, when passions rise, we forget the reason for the argument.  
 So, I had to back up and clear the air. When I did, and spoke those words, “There are no strings attached,” the epiphany alighted upon my slow mind.  Yeah, I actually do this for you not expecting anything in return.  It was good to hear myself say that, and it was true.  
 But there are plenty of times I  do  something to  show  my love to her all the while  expecting  reciprocation. Is that what love does? It expects? I don’t think so. 
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"I don’t encourage you to take Saturday’s off because I want something back. I’m not offering you that time so that I can take an equal amount. There are no strings attached," I said. "I just love you." 

The air hung tense and awkward. Arguments seem to produce that kind of air. My wife and I wrangled on and on about something we couldn’t quite put our collective finger on. There were all kinds of miscommunication swirling around. Sometimes arguments take on a life of their own and, when passions rise, we forget the reason for the argument. 

So, I had to back up and clear the air. When I did, and spoke those words, “There are no strings attached,” the epiphany alighted upon my slow mind. Yeah, I actually do this for you not expecting anything in return. It was good to hear myself say that, and it was true. 

But there are plenty of times I do something to show my love to her all the while expecting reciprocation. Is that what love does? It expects? I don’t think so.

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Timothy Willard loves to sit with his wife by the bonfire and make up stories about Tom the Backyard-Badger for his three lovely daughters. When he's not carving up the Appalachian Mountains on his Salsa El Mariachi, you can find him busy writing a book, collaborating on a book, or reading a book written by someone dead and gone. Timothy studied beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis under theologian Alister McGrath. The author of five books, including Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society (Zondervan), Timothy is currently finishing The Life-Changing Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019), preparing his doctoral thesis for publication, and trying to find a publisher for his first novel The Tempest and the Bloom. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.