Have you ever really given everything for the sake of love? I have declared that I would. I have thought that I had.
I have not.
I’m not making a parallel to the sacrifice of Christ. I’m talking about the relationship between two people who choose a life together. I’m being real.
In essence of course it’s the same thing, the willingness to lay down our lives one for the other. Why must we make it so incredibly difficult?
We meet, we learn, we sense, we gain depth. We feel a lightness that carries us to new heights. Then sometimes, far too many times, we forget why or how we began. We relax our grip while walking in the pace of the familiar only to lose each others’ hands in the crowd. Complacency comes in and whisks our fervor away like a bad man snatching a child from the county fair. And like that family frantically plastering fliers and giving tearful pleas on the news, we hope against hope that we’ll see our precious baby again. If that were really the way we viewed love, we would not give up until we had that baby back in our arms one way or another.
We should remember that love is the antithesis of fear. They cannot coexist. Yet we fear one another. We fear what the other may choose. In doing so we have no freedom. We either grasp tighter until love can’t stand the crushing of it’s bones, or we stick our hands in our pockets so we can’t be blamed for it’s slipping away since we never really held it to begin with. Either way, we lose.
Love is a living, ever growing thing. Love needs times of being held and soothed like a baby, being able to stretch like a growing adolescent, being shown off in an expensive outfit at the big soiree, of staying up all night finishing the remodel, of rocking in the sunset on the front porch.
Love never ought to be disregarded or discarded.
We can feel like we’ve done all we can, that we’ve endured all we can possibly stand. While love is more than a feeling to be evoked, it seems to me that it’s still the pulsing vitality present within that feeling that sustains most of us at some level. We can say that we don’t need it or want the hassle of all that it entails but my observations say otherwise for the majority.
While my hope is not in any earthly relationship, but in intimacy with Christ, I will not lie and say that it’s irrelevant to me. I don’t know how, but I am going to guard love. I am going to give, even when I don’t understand why it’s so tough. I am going to let go of my offenses, cherish what is and rest in God’s peace while I wait for what is yet to be restored.
I encourage you to do the same.
1 Corinthians 13, The Message…
The Way of Love
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.