Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Do you love unconditionally?

What would God have me write about today in my personal site? I want to make it valuable and worth my time and the readers'.

So let me go with what is on the burner of my heart....unconditional love.

Ask most people, and they would say that they know how to love unconditionally. On a quick response I would feel this about my life. I find in as I dig a little bit and look closer into what this kind of love I demonstrate, I fall short.

Why do you love you spouse? He/She is kind, giving, thoughtful, loyal, dedicated, or humorous. Do you think about the way he/she takes care of the home, cars, budget, children and yard? Most of us do think about some of these type of ideas when we think about loving our spouse.

When I was first posed with the question this morning, in my Love Dare book (take off from the movie - Fireproof) I thought about how he listens, tries to understand, loves the Lord, is very dedicated to his employment, likes to laugh, and other thoughts like this. Since I have been married 25 years I had lots of thoughts also about how he falls short, too. Many adjectives fly up to my conscious.

Reading a little further in the days journal/love dare challenge. I read that I need to love my husband period, for no reason at all. I must lay unconditional love as the foundation of my marriage. I must love him no matter what he does or doesn't in sickness and health, poor or rich, selfish or giving, listening or football mesmerized, helpful or potato couch, handyman or all-thumbs, etc. I am sure you can think of many of your own items for a similar list.

You know this really changes a marriage. If I am to choose to love my husband no matter what he does or what happens or whatever the circumstances, my marriage will be able to withstand any storm.

And you know God loves me this way (you too)! Romans 5:8 "And yet while we were sinners, Christ died for us!" He loves me so much He died for me while I was a sinner. He doesn't stop loving me when I sin, stray, get caught in a cycle of disobedience, or just plain forget about Him for days or weeks on end. He loves me period. He love covers my multitude of sins. His mercy is new every morning.

In the same context of unconditional love, my 15 yo teen son is learning to accept unconditional love. He is repeatedly hitting our boundaries. He flat out told us last night in a calm but condescending tone that we didn't know how to be a parent and he was going to teach us a thing of two. In his all-wise teenage 'tude, he informed us on about how we are to blame for all of his misery. We lovingly listened. My dear husband corrected him about being prideful and disrespectful when he started stepping on his toes about not being much of a man because he didn't like to fight. We never got upset with him. In an hour or so he apologized for what he said.

Again this morning, he was wanting me to return his computer, buy him more clothes, run an errand for him....when I told him I wasn't going to do these things until he respectfully obeyed us and completed his chores and schoolwork with diligence, he got suddenly very sleepy. "Ah, can I go to bed and do my school later tonight, I can skip church tonight and just do my work then?," barely getting it out with hands rubbing his closed eyes. My dear husband took over, listened to him and let him go to sleep.

Our son is hitting a wall, but he is covered by two parents (the two that he thinks are totally incompetent) that truly love him unconditionally. We keep loving him no matter what he does and we keep holding the godly Biblical standards before him even though he is trying to knock them down.

God is teaching me a powerful lesson this week. I think I see it clearer than ever before. I see how God wants me to love him and others. Because God loves me unconditionally (with His agape love), I can understand how to love others. And not only can I understand but He enables me to love Him and others unconditionally.

Sometimes we have to look closely at our heart to see how we love. Did you look closely at the clover picture at the top of this post? Did you see the clover are made up of heart shaped leaves? Take time to look closely at your own heart. Are you loving unconditionally?

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