Jesus gave us a great example of Love.
Why, then, is it so hard to be like Him?
Jesus' love is:
Literally dying to self.
And I know I cannot be Jesus, I cannot be perfect. But He gave an example over and over again. Why is it hard to follow?
It was bound to happen right? Me learning to love Tim when he's not so in tune with where I am at, or when he makes that odd remark or makes a joke at the wrong time. It is actually really hard. It is hard to be disciplined about loving him when I really feel like walking away because I feel hurt by him.
But what rights do I have?
What is Love?
What is Love?
What is my role?
Let me just say... I am learning a lot... again... still...
Tim's change of work and ministry has brought him into a rough season; a season where he is not always his happy, cheery self. This is why I need to step up to the plate and perhaps give more, and certainly love when he is falling short. Tim's been short with me a few times, and I certainly get it... he deserves grace in this season that came rather abruptly. And yet... I lack. I fail.
I hoped I would never be like this. I am embarrassed to admit, but I want to walk away when I get hurt. I want to move to the other side of the couch (and I have) when I hurt. I have a desperate need to protect myself from pain.
I have never had a man devoted to me. I have never been married, and so now I may put way too much responsibility on Tim. It's so wonderful to have someone who loves me, physically around. But with that comes that I depend too much on Tim to love me and make me feel good. So when he made a bad call a few times in a row, I turned around and separated myself from him. Not good! I even felt God guide me back in toward Tim, but I couldn't. I wasn't disciplined. I wasn't the graceful wife. I wasn't the loving wife. All I wanted was to be alone and deal with it alone.
I am realizing I always need God first, before I need Tim. Tim cannot and will not ever satisfy me. He is also not responsible for me. In a way, sure he is, but at the root he really isn't. So while I enjoy human love for the first time, I kind of fall into the trap of thinking this makes Tim responsible for my well being and me feeling love. It wasn't without reason that I put in my vows that “I realize that love isn't a feeling. It will be my choice.”
So God is kindly pointing out His truth and His good ways. They are better than my thoughts, truths and ways.
Tim and I went to this marriage conference a few weeks back. It was our first ;-) and what struck me most is when Paul Tripp said: “Women, you love your husband because God loved you first.” And: “So you don't love your husband when he is good to you. No! You especially love him when he fails, because God loved you first. You possess everything you need to love your husband.” It struck me! It pointed me to my need for Jesus. Yes, it may be hard to choose love when I am not feeling it, but when I choose and am disciplined to call out to Jesus, He will be faithful and make it possible, right there in that moment. I posses everything I need to love my husband and love him well.
Jesus' love was sacrificial. Maybe true love is love that hurts a little. For Jesus it meant given everything. It hurt. It wasn't easy. He even asked His Father if there wasn't a different way (Matthew 26:39). It meant sacrificing His life so we can have ours, and we didn't deserve it. Paul Trip mentioned that love isn't really love until it is sacrificing for the good on another, especially when the other doesn't deserve it. So I truly love Tim when it costs me something.
I need to treasure God's love over my husband's love. I need to go after God's love before going after my husband's love. Love isn't about me getting from my husband, it is about me loving Him well. And in turn it means loving Tim when he 'deserves' it least. I know Tim does the same for me and THAT makes a good marriage.
I love because God loved me first.
I possess everything I need to love my husband well.
Love is still not a feeling. It will be my choice.
I need to treasure God's love over my husband's love.
True love costs a little. True love is sacrificial.