Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Love is hard as nails.

this is from Jonathan and my daily devotional. it's so powerful, i had to share. this was yesterdays.

 Love Dare.

Anger can fuel hatred in a man's heart until he feels like attacking his enemy. But love can spark kindness in his heart so he lays down his life for his friend. Selfishness can drive a woman to tighten her grip and hoard her resources. But love can inspire her to open her hands and give sacrificially. Love is the purest and most powerful motivator. It gives courage to a coward, wisdom to a fool.
When love invades your heard, you are empowered to endure deeper pain, willingly pay a greater cost, and run risks to your reputation for the sake of another. Love causes a soldier to lay down his life for his country, a mother to pray relentlessly for her child, and a gracious God to send His only Son to die for our sins. Love is that powerful.
Paul the apostle endured beatings, intense persecution, and hardships throughout his life. He did it for one reason alone: "Christ's love" compelled him. If love began fueling your decisions, what would it drive you to do for your marriage?

Go deeper.

Read 1 Corinthians 13. After you have read it, read verses 4-7 again. This time replace the words "love" or "it" with your first name. Then close in prayer and ask God to help you with that.

here is what it would look like with my name. go ahead and put yours in there where mine is.

Allison is patient and kind. Allison is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Allison does not demand her own way. Allison is not irritable and keeps no record of being wronged. Allison does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Allison never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.


so how then do we love like this? jonathan and i both entered our marriage with deep, deep wounds. so in our marriage we ended up deeply wounding one another. i wish i could say just once. but time and time again, we hurt each other. hurting people, hurt people. as a child i learned for the first time in my life, that you can in fact quit love. or it can quit you. i saw this first hand as a quiet little back ground noise in my own parents divorce. the union and togetherness that lasted many many years for them had ended. and for whatever the reasons, i, in my own young mind, saw that love dies. i have discovered now as an adult and in my own marriage that love may be the hardest act ever called on our lives. like C.S. Lewis wrote, "love is hard as nails." can you love like 1 Cor. 4? no of course not! no one can. that is a flawless perfect love. but with God, i can start everyday trying, and every night knowing i did the best i could. (Phil. 4:13) when i fail, and boy do i, i ask God to point out to me (if someone hasn't already) where i went wrong, and how i could do better. usually it starts with my tail between my legs, head down, and my pride hurting. but what happens next is a God thing. i feel much better. my moment transformed by the mere step of love. Jesus came to teach over and over again about love. so why then is it so hard? well, we weren't meant to do life alone, my friend. God designed our lives to be spent step by step with Him. but God will never force you. you make the choice, and He will always be waiting there ready to guide your next step if you decide that is what you want.

so what, no gray area? but what if my husband did THIS? or what about that time my wife did THAT? God covers the unthinkable, the pain, the hurt, the suffering. there isn't a bible that is written for all those "gray areas." His love covers everything. it's black and white. but as humans we are not. when i was moving to Florida last year i suffered some really hard times. there were a couple of people who decided to speak out against what i was doing. what was said about me was so horrible and damaging. i thought i would close that part of my heart right then and there. and although those people do not talk to me today, God has left that spot open and soft and continues to heal me more and more each day. in my own power i could never think and pray for those people like i do today. in my own strength i would have flipped a lid! but God used that to come and enter my life deeper and calm my spirit.

i encourage you, to not wait till you hear, "you have cancer" or whatever your "cancer" may be, anger, alcohol, food, infidelity, or whatever the hold that is on your life to keep you from living God's great plan He has for you. don't wait till you are dying to really live. or love.

 "and the greatest of these is love." 1Corinthians 13:13
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