|Posted on February 10, 2020 at 8:35 AM|
Love is a word that means so many things, in so many ways. For example, I can love a delicious piece of chocolate, a captivating book or a soothing massage. This love is a feeling I get when I enjoy something - a fondness or satisfaction. But this kind of love can be fleeting - if the chocolate runs out, the book’s plot twists in a poor direction or the masseuse rubs me the wrong way, I may no longer feel love for it.
I have a different kind of love for my close friends – those people who have been there for me during both the easy and the challenging times. There is a special connection between us, and we can sit in each other’s presence and not say a thing. This love is deeper, and for me it is more than just a feeling. It’s a real love, one that lasts. Something pretty awful would have to happen to cause this love to disappear.
My love for my spouse is even deeper. Yes, when we first met and dated there were certain romantic feelings of love that surfaced, and those of you who have been “in love” probably know exactly what I’m talking about. There is a sense that you are not complete without the other, and you would do anything for them. But in order for a marriage to survive, that love must grow much deeper. Challenging times will come, and those giddy feelings can come and go. Spouses must decide to love each other, to make a lasting commitment to each other. That’s one reason why we say “in sickness and in health” in our vows! We may even need to love our spouse for a while in a way that may contradict our feelings. At, least this is what it has been like for me. I have chosen to love my husband even during those times when the “feelings” are not as strong as they once were.
My love for my children is similar. Since the moment I discovered I was pregnant with each one of my sons, I knew a love for them that was unlike the friendships I have forged. I have had challenges with the children, but despite that my love runs so deep that I would fiercely protect them if I could from hardships. And I also had to love them by letting them go - to learn and make mistakes on their own in order to grow. My love for my children was a decision that I made and am still making today. And I will do my best to love them no matter what happens to them or to me.
The last love I will talk about today is love for and with God. God loves us so perfectly that I can scarcely grasp this kind of love. It is somewhat like a love for friends, spouses and children. But it is so much more than that. It is a true commitment God has made toward each of us as His children. He loves us fiercely yet allows us to make our mistakes. God in fact IS love.
I love God, but not anywhere as completely as He loves me. My love for God is more than a feeling, more that just a satisfaction or even the closeness of a friend. It is more than the love I have for my children or for my spouse. And yet like those loves it is a decision and commitment I must make over and over again, to consciously love God freely, above all else.
This isn’t easy for me. I am imperfect, and I imperfectly love God. But I still will try to love Him as fully as I can. I know I will make mistakes and turn from Him, but His Love is always there. And God always enfolds me into His love as soon as I decide to return to Him.
What do you love? Whom do you love? Is your love real? Or is it only a feeling? Perhaps this week you could take a little time to look at the loves in your life. If one of your loves needs a little work or reorientation, I hope you can spend some time this week to sort things out. You might find a lovely blessing hiding amid your loves!
Have a blessed Monday!
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