As I lie awake this morning not despairing, rather clinging to who I am now...right now in Christ...my mind tumbles around this idea of love and what kind of Love I'm putting my trust in. What kind of love is true? Is this love any different than what I used to think it was when I was younger and had all the answers?
"I think people really find out what love is after they get married," I tell my Love a few weeks ago, near Valentine's day. He smiles and agrees and tells me that he does love me...now, right now.
So many times people think they fall out of love (as if it's something you fall into in the first place) after they become one and why is that? I mean it seems so backwards. This thinking that we know what love is after we say, I do. All these swooping feelings wrapping us up daily with this person and we marry, becoming one, and something happens a few years down the rocky road and we think that since those feelings have changed that maybe....just maybe we fell out of it. Love, I mean. Wouldn't love get easier as time goes on?
And believe me, buying into this lie: that love is a feeling and it only feels good, it comes at a high price. Lets just say feelings are not a solid foundation for anything, much less a relationship that is to last a life time. Lets just say that building a solid foundation for anything must start with what is true, what is noble, what is right, what is pure, what is lovely, what is admirable...these things we are (in Phil. 4) instructed to "think" on...not to feel on. So much of my time is wasted still, thinking on things that are not true. Here is a good example of this from my own life. We will call it the:
"if my husband loved/respected me he would list"
~change the baby's diaper more
~wake up with me to feed the baby (as if I'm nursing he can do anything anyway, but look tired)
~do the dishes
~read my mind when I need something from him so I don't have to ask (this ones my very favorite)
~pick up his socks off the floor
~help with the dishes
~read with the kids out of the Bible more
And it could go on....and on. This list of things that at one time or another in my life would make me feel loved by the one I call Love. Oh, but hear me on this one friend would you?
Hear me when I say that my husband could do every. single. thing. right...he could do every. single. thing on that silly list and I would still have this ache inside my heart that would not feel loved.
Because, my dear readers, love is not something that we fall into and it certainly cannot be filled by another sinner (especially that one that lives with you day in and day out)...it is a gift to be given. And sometimes...sometimes gifts are not well taken care of. Oh, usually at first they are. Usually, they are precious in our eyes, those gifts are at first, but after a good amount of time, many times they just become very familiar.
And maybe that is why when Jesus went back home to Nazareth, back to where things were familiar, people just couldn't believe. I mean, this was Jesus. The carpenter's son. Jesus, Mary's son (and we all know what a scandal her pregnancy was right?) They were familiar with him. They didn't, they couldn't see the gift that he was.
And so it is with the love that we give...and give...and give again. It is precious. Then oddly it becomes routine and familiar and we believe that somehow because it doesn't feel the same that perhaps it really was not love in the first place. But I am here to tell you friends, that when you don't feel loving, when it is anger that you feel most of the time....when that mushy, gushy feeling is all but expired two years ago at least....then is your chance to know true love. It is your chance to show true love.
This love says:
~if I need help I will ask (even if I think the covenant of marriage magically makes you a mind reader)
~I will pray that my Love become the leader of our home and will diligently read the Word with our children
~realise that, yes, I am nursing so it is pointless to have 2 sloppy, tired adults in the home and napping is a girl's best friend
~sees socks on the floor as a way to serve and rememeber (like yo momma always told ya) that if socks are my biggest problem, really I have none
~asks for help with things like the dishes, especially from those 4 not-so-little-anymore kids of ours
In every point, in every circumstance that Jesus was in he chose what was hard including and especially, the cross. I mean there are not a whole lot of people in my life that I could choose to die for. And yet, this God-man, he up and died for not only the ones who loved him, but those who vilified him most of all. When you know this kind of love, then you are able to give this kind of love. Perfectly? Never, not this side of heaven, at least. But imperfectly? Yes!
In light of the grand story of Easter and all that kind of love entails, I am reminded that my love is to be a mere reflection of His love. As imperfectly as my love is shown, I do realise that with out knowing His love, I am unable to give the kind of love that lasts a lifetime.
And this task... it is hard. I do not mean to make light of it because it can be and is terribly hard for many. So as you think on these things this week, please remember what is true...to think on these things, and the feeling may follow. And even if they never do, friends this promise is still forever true: that the peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4: 6-9). Amen and Amen!
Here's to naming more of these gracious gifts:
841. a love that never fails
842. a love that is always true
843. a love that always hopes
844. a love that always sees the best in others
845. a love that extends grace always, always
846. a love that overflows that ache in my heart that no man can ever fill
847. the one I call Love: and that great work that the Lord continues to do in his heart
848. and all the time he's been spending in the Word and sharing it with our 4
849. a friend who came twice in a week to help organise and pack and listen and share life with me
850. an unexpected, encouraging e-mail
851. a love that rose again...on the third day...conquering death!
And speaking of gifts....did you all get to see the Compassion gift results??!! Just click here and check it out. It really is pretty AHHHHmazing! I was blown away, truly I was....and excited to see all that was done in Jesus' name.
Oh and one more thing. How is your memorising going? Me? Meh. Which can be translated so-so. But I will continue to press on. Though I miss a week (or two), I will ask for the grace to memorise this week's verse. Will you press with me? This weeks verse, here friends, giving us even more truth to "think on" this week!