WHAT LOVE IS NOT

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Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

We all dream of a fairy tale romance.  Images of marrying Prince Charming and riding off into the sunset towards the Cinderella life of our dreams…and then we wake up.  We wake up to someone who is, well, hairy…really hairy and smelly and messy and thinks so strangely.  I mean the wiring in a man’s brain is just missing a few connections.  They just don’t think like us incredibly-brilliant-always-right-never-wrong women. {Insert sarcasm here.} God love ‘em!  And I love ’em!  I’m sincerely thankful for the opposite sex and all the wonderful things they bring to the human race.  Thank God my husband doesn’t think like I do.  The world is a better place because of that.  But let’s face it, marriage is NOT meant to make you happy, it’s meant to make you holy.  The word happy comes from the old English word hap which means good fortune, lucky, or turning out well.  So our happiness is directly related to how things are turning out for us.  But what happens if things aren’t turning out so well?  What if we are not happy in our fairy tale?  What happens if Prince Charming isn’t meeting all of our needs and loving us the way Jesus loves the church?  What then?

From the get-go, my husband and I entered into a covenant (not a contract).  A contract is there to protect both parties involved in an agreement.  If one party doesn’t fulfill their part of the contract either party can go their separate ways.  Not so in a covenant.  If one party doesn’t pull their weight, the other party must pull it for them.  They are bound together for life only to be separated by death.  My husband and I agreed that we would never divorce, but death, well, that was always a viable option.  I’m jokingly serious, of course.  There were nights I prayed for God to take one of us out if something didn’t change.  I’m really not kidding, things hit rock bottom.  But thank God for unanswered prayers because He probably would have taken me out.

what love is notI’m going to let you in on a little secret…and I want you to think about this secret in view of how God does it:  Love is NOT love unless you choose to love someone through their worst.  Jesus asked “What reward is there in loving someone who loves you back?”  He said, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:46 & 48)  The original Greek meaning of the word perfect means to be brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness.  Do you want to know what I saw when I read that?  DEATH!  We die!  Oh God answered my prayers alright.  Someone died, and it was me.  I died to all of my selfish mindsets, to my desire to have someone else meet all of my needs. I died to my self-centered ways because you cannot truly love until you love the unlovable and believe the best about them.  You must see a person in their worst possible state and yet hope in all things, bear all things, believe all things, and endure all things knowing that love never fails.  Knowing that God, who is love, never fails.

We search our whole lives for love, and then we walk away from what we found in search of something better.  We move from relationship to relationship looking for the perfect spouse.  How about we seek out, search for and find the perfect God and then we can love anyone through His love?

I had a real “a-ha” moment several years ago.  This one particular day I was running late for church and I bent down to kiss my husband goodbye on the forehead before leaving.  As I did, he grimaced.  Okay, if you know me at all, my core fear is rejection…and that had rejection all over it.  (What you may not know is that I had been a jerk to my husband earlier that week and he wasn’t feeling particularly loving towards me at the time.)  So I stomped off, slammed the door and started yelling at God.  “He doesn’t deserve my love!” I exclaimed.  “And you deserve Mine?” God asked gently. “I know I don’t deserve Your love God, but You can’t help it!  You love because You ARE love and You can’t deny Yourself!” I yelled.  “Then you love because you ARE love and because I live inside of you and you can’t separate us for we are one!” He said loud and clear.

Wow.  We love because we ARE love, for Christ lives in us and He is love.  That statement changed the course for how I approached love.  We don’t love because someone deserves it.  We love because we are love PERIOD.  We are loved by the One who fills us, the One who loves us even though we don’t deserve it.  A true depiction of love is not loving those who love you back, but loving those who don’t, won’t, or just don’t know how yet.  Love is not a feeling, nor an emotion, but is a choice.  It never feels good to love someone who doesn’t love you back at first, but when love has done its perfect work in you, the reward is priceless.  You get to see firsthand, the loving heart of God…you get to see what love really is, and what love is not.

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YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING: 

God wants to undo your definition of love.  He wants to give you a new perspective on love and He wants to take the pressure off of your loved ones to meet all of your needs.  Only He can do that.  When you sit with Him day after day, He can pour love into your empty broken heart.  Out of this you will be able to love as He loves.  Are you ready to be filled up with the love of God so that you can pour out on a hurt and lonely world around you?  Start out your time with God listening to the audio track I’ve attached below.  Listen to what the Holy Spirit speaks to you about His amazing love.  Write down what He says.  I’m believing for some “a-ha” moments of your own!

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FURTHER STUDY:  

Look over these passages on the Love of God this week.  Learn to walk in love the way He does.  You’re going to be a much “happier” person when you focus on God’s love for you and not the lack of love around you.  Gird yourself in the wisdom of the Word of God.  Let it wash over you and renew your mind.

Day 2:   Read Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5

Day 3:   Read 1 John 4:7-11

Day 4:   Read Galatians 2:20 

Day 5:   Read John 13:34-35

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