Monday, June 30, 2014

Gritty Love

Have you heard that love is not a feeling, it's a choice?  The news is true.  It goes so much deeper than emotions that can be tossed around like a row boat in a storm.  Where is the appeal in someone who is patient and kind with you, but only when they feel like it?

Can I be real for a minute?  I don't feel like wiping my kid's butt this afternoon, but I will decide to do it anyway because I love.  It's not because I have this overwhelming sense of fulfillment and joy in diaper changing.  It's not because I sense a mutual respect between me and my 18 month old.  In fact, trying to hold her down while she squirms around on my bed threatening to smear poop on my cream-colored sheets does nothing for me.  Except maybe frustrate me and make me anxious.

Can we take it a notch deeper?  When those who are closest to me cause me to become brokenhearted, I often feel far too justified to submit to humility and forgiveness, but I am called to do it anyway because of love.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is giving the other person longer than they deserve to correct a mistake.  Love is earnestly praying for those who have smiled to your face and tarnished your name behind your back.  Love is humbling yourself enough to admit your part in the destruction of a relationship.  Love doesn't advertise someone else's sins to make your own a little dimmer.  Love is refusing to let past betrayals control your mind and heart today.  

You may think you know what love is, but you don't really.  Its true definition and example is beyond your wildest dreams.

1 Corinthians 13 is often recited at wedding ceremonies.  It sounds so lush and comfy when two beautiful people are committing to it at the altar, but I wonder if everyone knew the truth, would they still take the vow?  Oftentimes, love is not soft and easy.  It can get gritty and painful, but it's exactly what God has been doing for us since the day he created us in his infinite imagination.  He loves us in spite of who we are, and he calls us to do the same.

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