I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.Song of Solomon 6:3a NLT
I had a heart challenging experience a few days ago, that left me feeling helpless. I wish I could explain the situation, but it’s not my story to tell. What I can share is what thoughts came out of my contemplation.
Love is a major topic in scripture. God tells us we are loved, and we are commanded and encouraged to love each other.
Delightfully loved ones, if he loved us with such tremendous love, then “loving one another” should be our way of life!1 John 4:11 TPT
Yet loving others can be a God-sized challenge at times. Especially if we harbor hurt or bitterness. It’s hard for others to love us if we are disrespectful or antagonistic. That’s when I looked inward. I realized I couldn’t judge how other people stumbled, when my own loving actions become frayed in the course of the day.
How can I pivot from judging to loving? It is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. Over thirty years ago when my husband and I had separated, I challenged God over and over again. Until I finally came to the conclusion that following God wasn’t about me being right or having a perfect life. It was about doing things God’s way and trusting him completely.
I wish I could tell you it was easy, but it wasn’t. I can tell you, I learned to have faith, I learned to surrender, I learned following God is always the right thing to do, and I learned loving unconditionally, while challenging, is the same way I want to be loved.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
This is the benchmark. Is it attainable? Only through God’s grace. Only through the Spirit. I am a blessed woman to say my marriage has been a fertile field for God’s work of love, faith, and forgiveness. I treasure my husband’s unconditional love for me, and I hope he feels my unconditional love for him everyday.
In this season of busyness and high expectations, I pray you will let offense flow off you like water on a ducks back and instead soak up like a sponge the love of God celebrated in the birth of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us.
Grace & Peace,