I don’t mean to brag or anything (oh, who am I kidding? I do mean to brag) but my husband is pretty awesome. He is a good man and I really like him. Many times that liking intensifies to feelings of love that comes out in word form – I love you. I’m convicted though, because love is not just a stronger version of like, it is a commitment to care for and be kind to someone even when the feelings aren’t there. I have to ask myself, do I love Owen mainly because of what he does for me?
For all the years we’ve been married, he has sacrificed many of his dreams and worked hard to care for me. When I ask him why he does this, he says it’s because he loves me. Now there’s a man who know what love really is. It’s not the easy mushy kind of love, it’s the hard way of love.
Which convicts me…if he can love me in such a way, can my love be as pure? Can my love for him come from a place of sacrifice and not just taking for granted what he does for me and coming to expect it? I admit, many times when I say I love him, I’m thinking about how much better my life is with him (and I’m thinking of external things I get from him, not just the parts of our relationship that make life better). Sometimes my love is tainted by the expectation of what I get out of it.
But I’m nothing if not an over-thinker, so let’s take this a step further. Many times my love for God comes as a result of what I think He can do for me. You know, all the blessings that the bible talks about. When my life is good, I can sing praises like the best of them. I look at how good my life is right now and I equate that with who God is. Of course God would want to make me happy and give me everything I want if He loves me, right? But I’m really worshipping the gifts more than the giver. I’m thirsting after the good life and not my maker.
Who is this God that we say we love?
Simply a version of Santa Claus or the one who breathed us into being?
A vending machine god or the one who calmed the storm and raised the dead?
An indulgent father or the one who gave His only son to give us life?
Can I praise God for WHO HE IS and not just what I expect from Him?
But here’s the things, we do love Him for what He gives us. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). We would still be dead in our trespasses if not for Him. Our very lives are a lavish gift. And we were incapable of true love without Him.We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
So while we strive to love God out of recognition of who He is, we also know that His great love for us covers over even our selfish entitled versions of love.
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