Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is...

Today is Valentine's Day - the international day of LOVE.  I cannot say that I know much about love, at least not in the way that love is thought of on this Valentine's Day, romantic love.  I can say a few things that I know that LOVE is not.  Love is not in boxes of chocolates or flowers.  It is not a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant.  Love is not found in unmet expectations on this calendar day.  Quite the opposite actually.

When I was in the second grade, I got several special valentines - a few boxes of chocolates, special cards, and a kiss on the hand.  This was big stuff to my little second grade self.   Every year after, I would secretly hope for a secret admirer and a Valentine's Day as big as my second grade Valentine's Day, but rarely were they quite as special.  In high school, I had one special valentine, and he sent me some flowers.  And then, years passed in which I was single and had no one special Valentine in which to share this special day of LOVE with, or so I thought.

During those years, I found that love came softly to me in the form of a whisper, an email, a caring word, a prayer, a hug, a glance.  He found me in the pit and He redeemed me.  I thought I was alone and found I was not.  I was in His arms, and He was lifting me out of the pit.  When I needed hope, He gave it.  When I needed life, He breathed it into me.  When I needed direction, He gave me sight and light to see.  When I was alone, He gave me a companion.  My lover blessed me with an earthly lover and husband.

Since being married, I've found that sometimes I expect my husband to be for me what that second grade Valentine's Day was - a romantic dinner for two, no kids, a babysitter arranged, boxes of chocolates, flowers.  I hate to admit it, because as simple as I can be, these are the things I secretly long for - that the world has said are LOVE.  And I've bought into this idea.  If he doesn't meet my expectations, do I respond in LOVE or in anger, frustration, and selfishness? 

LOVE is found in the beauty of every day moments together - when he fixes the clogged sink so that it drains properly, when he takes the kids to the grocery store so I can spend a moment blogging by myself, when he prunes the bushes outside, when he kisses me in the kitchen just because, or when he watches me as I feed the baby or play with the kids.  And LOVE can be found in the giving of boxes of chocolates and fancy romantic dinners, but it is not in the item itself.

"LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always perseveres.
LOVE never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I daresay not many of us truly understand this kind of LOVE.  This love forgives.  Though we stand in agony of wrong doing, it continues on loving despite our wretchedness.  When we become unfaithful and take on other lovers, LOVE keeps on LOVING and forgiving.  We do not understand this love because we do not truly understand God, because real LOVE is God and Godliness. Sometimes we credit God with bad things, usually because we don't understand goodness or LOVE. But, we don't get to decide what is good or what is love. God is good and God is love, and our definition should be from Him, not vice versa.  When we act out this LOVE, then and only then are we expressing true LOVE.

 "Let his banner over me be LOVE."  Song of Solomon 2:4

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of LOVE to a thousand generations of those who LOVE him and keep his commands."  
Deuteronomy 7:9

"The LORD your God is with you,
   he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
   he will quiet you with his LOVE,
   he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in LOVE, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that 
you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:16-19

Here are a few novels that display the power of the true love of God:  


5 comments:

  1. great post! today is my 26th wedding anniversary so it is a special day for me.

    doodlebug is just adorable!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. YOu have a beautiful blog. I am a new follower from {in}courage community...stop by and return the favor.

    ReplyDelete

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