Thursday, February 28, 2008
Resolutions in Love
As the year 2007 comes to a close, I find myself reading through the closing books of the New Testament. As I read First, Second and Third John, it seemed the prevailing theme was love. When I turned the page into Jude, the opening verses caught my attention:
“I am writing to all who are called to live in the love of God the Father and the care of Jesus Christ.”
Most of the time, when I think of the calling of God in my life, I think of things I am doing. Yet, here in Jude, our calling is to live in the love of God the Father. Think about it. Our job is to LIVE IN HIS LOVE. Life can get so complicated, yet here is our calling, our mission. To be loved by God and cared for by Jesus. We tend to worry about what job we should have, what ministry we should be involved in, how to pay the bills or juggle our hectic schedule. Here he reminds us our walk is not just about DOING, it is about BEING His children, loved by our Father and cared for by our Lord.
When we are secure in His love, it will naturally follow that we pass that love on. Love is an action word, “For God so loved the world He GAVE”, and we will do the same. When the Bible tells us love is patient, love is kind, etc., those are not passive mushy feelings words. Sometimes it is downright difficult to be patient, kind, longsuffering. It’s not easy to believe the best, to endure. Love does not coast. Yes, I know the scripture says love does not boast. But hear me. Love does not coast.
When I was a girl, I used to spend time with my Aunt Carrie. She loved to drive to the top of the hill, and take her foot of the gas and coast all the way down, seeing how far we could go before she had to put her foot back on the gas. Relationships can be a lot like that. We build up momentum and get to the top of the hill, so we take our foot of the gas, stop working so hard and coast for a while. Maybe it is the “in-love” feelings that have brought us to the top of the hill, but unless we continue to apply the gas and feed the relationship, we will not have the power to make it up the next hill of difficulty.
Even after 25 years of marriage, this year has been one of putting the petal to the metal and building our relationship. It seems there has been a lot of the agonizing sound of gears grinding, as we have fought to shift into a higher gear in our marriage. We’ve had many arguments, many tears, many struggles, yet with a purpose. We are learning to communicate and working to turn a dented and life-scarred relationship into a restored classic that shines for His glory. Love is an action word, and its hard work.
This year, I have learned that love believes for the best, and works toward it. Yes, love accepts the beloved the way they are, yet challenges them to be all that they can be. I thank God for my husband, who has really opened up his heart to me this year to share his struggles, his challenges and his hopes for our relationship. He has loved me enough not to settle for the status quo, a pretty good marriage, but has continued to strive to bring the ideal marriage that God wants us to have. I can’t say this has been an easy year, its been downright heart-wrenching at times, but I know we are making progress through it all. Love is not stagnant, love grows.
We have a good foundation, and have deliberately been adding to it. We’ve been reading many helpful books on building a Christian marriage. “Rocking the Roles”, “The Five Love Languages of Your Mate”, “Love and Respect” and “Captivating”. We’re learning to speak eachother’s love language, and love eachother with knowledge. We’ve stopped coasting and are applying a steady pressure to the gas pedal, so we can consistently gain momentum and travel towards the relationship God wants us to have. That brings us full circle to the opening scripture, we are “called to live in the love of God the Father”. Yes, we receive that love, but we also GIVE that love. Love one another. They will know we are Christians by our love. Love never gives up. Beloved, let us love one another….
In His love,