"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 is the author of three books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life. He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. He lived in Oxford, England for two years studying beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis. He earned his PhD in Theology under the supervision of world-renowned theologian Alister McGrath. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.