"Love is a many splendid thing!"
Except when you don't have it or aren't in it or have been hurt by it.
Have you ever been hurt by love? We all have stories of pain and heartache. I know my parents love me. My childhood home is the one, safe place I can fall; but even they have done many things to (unintentionally) hurt me. My father is a recovered alcoholic, fourteen years sober. There were many dark years before his sobriety when I felt abandoned by my father. Whatever took his mind off of the need for a drink also took his focus off of me: marathon bike-rides, wood-working, working, eating, cooking...Through this, I know my father loves me, even if his ways are not always clear.
Which is why I am thankful that my Heavenly Father's ways are clear. In 1 John, chapter four, John tells us that love come from God. If you love, you know God; if you do not love, you do not know God. Sure, that sounds easy enough. Keep reading. God showed us he loved us by sacrificing his son for us, for you and me.
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." 1 John 3:16 (NIV)
As a mom, that is one hard pill to swallow. I struggle with the thought of giving up my child to save the entire world from certain death. That means anyone who has lived, is living, or will live. I struggle with giving up my own life! Daily I have to say to God, "Okay, here we go again. Please show me how to love like you love. Mold me and use me. Show me how to love on my (husband, kids, friends, strangers) today. "
So, really, you have not been hurt by love. No you have been hurt by __________ (name withheld to protect the unaware). True love, agape (unconditional, sacrificial) love, does not hurt. Agape love is the love of all loves. Love really is a splendid thing! You are LOVED with the love above all other loves. Love sacrifices, love protects, love trusts, love hopes, love perseveres, (1 Corinthians 13). If you are experiencing anything else in your current relationships, you are not "in" love. Love is not "in". Love is. Period.
How do you love? Is your love conditional or sacrificial?
How can you show someone (a stranger?) love today?
Have a great weekend!