Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What True Love Is

I think it's appropriate to start my blog in February, a time of acknowledgement and celebration of Love. 

by Stephen Ramkissoon

I've been thinking about love a lot lately. As a a newlywed sometimes love can seem so easy, and at other times, it really takes the Holy Spirit to take over my heart to love  The Hubs well.

A while back ago I happened on this blog post,  and I just thought it was SO spot on! It's stuck with me and completely changed my view on marriage, and on how to love well.

Love isn't FOR you. Jesus did not die for us to benefit himself, he died for US. When we are in a relationship for ourselves, we will never find fulfillment in it. When you are intimately involved with a significant other, and your goal is to find pleasure for yourself, you will never reach a point of true intimacy.

It's the times that YOU reach out and give. It's the times that YOU make the phone calls. That YOU do the dirty dishes, that YOU spend the time constructing presents and making dinners and giving up your time and money and thoughts for someone else.

This is the hardest for me when I feel like the Hubs is expecting more of me than he expects of himself. While I'm waiting for him to get home I stomp around the house, completing the extra work I feel like he has unfairly created for me, muttering to myself. Inevitably I will stop in the middle of it all, and if I'm really REALLY mad, I will treat him the same way I feel like he treats me when he wants me to do something, and leave a big pile right in front of his path for when he gets home.

How UNLOVING is THAT?! The silly thing is that when the Hubs does it to me, he's usually not mad at me, and has no intention of creating extra work for me, and I know for a fact that he cleans up after me when I am rushing around in the morning trying to get myself together to go to work, and after I've made a complete mess out of the kitchen preparing dinner. Most of the time, he's actually trying to make my life easier. When God whispers that to me, I stop being all grumpy, complete the task and hand, and give The Hubs a giant kiss when he comes home.

Sometimes when I tell The Hubs I love him, he says, "I know," and I ask him "How do you know?" and he replies, "Because you show me!"

Now, I'm certainly no expert, but in just four months of marriage, I have definitely learned a few things, and most of them are echoed in Gods word. One of them is that this isn't about me, if it was, marriage wouldn't be FOR me. I would have been able to serve myself so much easier without someone else "butting in." But we are here to help each other. I am here to help him, to help make his plans and desires, and dreams come true. To create a space that feels like home for both him and his son. To walk beside him, and to support him when he needs it.

16By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.  1John 3:16-18

What does it look like to lay down your life for someone? To lay down your time and your money, and your desires and priorities for someone else's sake? What are you going to do this Valentines Day, not in words, or in speech, but by doing and truth?

What does it look like to love someone the way God loves them? To "Agape" them? A love of the will, sacrificially, unconditionally, selfless. What does it look like to show someone love even when you aren't feeling it? That's how Christ called us to love not only our husbands, and our children, but our neighbors and our enemies. 

This Valentines Day, forget about the chocolate, and the roses, and the cards you are expecting. What Random Acts of Kindness can you commit that will serve your family, your friends, your coworkers and even strangers? Will you allow God to Love others through you this Valentines Day? 
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