What is Love?

a mothers love for her adult kids can i trust god faith family estrangement god's got this how to win spiritual battles mothers parenting praying through pain truth where is god when it hurts Jul 13, 2022

  I am reposting a blog I wrote in August, 2012. When I wrote this, my eldest daughter, Mikel was 20 years old with a one year old daughter, her husband was a soldier with "anger issues" and my other daughter, Kaleigh was beginning her sophomore year in college, she'd transferred from Union University to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. My son was starting his senior year in high school, and I'd just had surgery to remove half my liver because of the recurrence of colon cancer. I was about to begin chemo treatments.

  I was blogging--which makes me smile. Because I think it's cool that I was doing what I do in the midst of a bunch of mayhem in my life! I really wish I knew what book I'd just read, it sounds like a good one that I'd love to read again! Here is the blog: 

  I just finished reading a book about a woman who insisted on loving a man who was unworthy of her love. It was fiction, but the truths the author shared were very real. It caused me to ask this question, 

What is love?

  Is love the thrill we feel when we experience our first kiss? Is it wrapped in a wedding dress and celebrated with a cake? Is love the moment we look into the eyes of another living soul that found her (or his beginning) inside our own bodies? Or is it the tenderness with which we manicure the fingernails of a father who used to be our hero and now can’t even put three sentences together because of a stroke?

  What is love?

  In the book I just read, love was romantic, tender, and sweet but it was also painful and dangerous. The forgiving, relentless and merciful love exhibited by the woman in my book had the power to literally change the course of a nation.  

  We don’t know much about this kind of love today. Too often we sell love short—thinking that it’s just the fleeting tingle we feel when our “loved one” wraps us in a warm embrace. We forget that love is patient and kind. It is not rude, nor self-seeking and is not easily angered. In fact, love keeps no record of wrongs. (see I Corinthians 13:4-5)

  I thought I understood love.

  I was married more than twenty years and had borne three children. I’d given much for the good of these 4 people whom I love with all my heart and soul. But it wasn’t until love demanded me to lay down my own “rights” and forgive the imperfections, immaturity, and perhaps even ignorance of others, that I began to tip toe toward the depths of love—not worldly self-serving and accommodating love, but powerful—God ordained love.

  I’m talking about the kind of love described by God (love’s author)…

“…[Love that] does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. [Love that] is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. Love that does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [Love that] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

[This is the kind of] love [that] never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

  This is not love for the faint-hearted.

  It requires stamina and conviction, tenacity and God Himself.

  I wish I were like the tender-hearted heroine in the book I read today—and that I trusted God so much that I would refuse to let bitterness and unforgiveness take root in my heart. I wish I could be like her and trust God’s purposes and His plans so much that I would live each day ever mindful that my life is His to use to accomplish purposes that are greater than I could even begin to imagine. I wish I didn’t constantly count the cost and argue with God about the price tag of the love He’s asked me to extend.

  Love is hard work.

  It’s painful and exhausting. Unless you’ve ever loved someone who offers you nothing in return; someone who steals what was once yours; someone who threatens to destroy all that you’ve trusted God to do…Unless you’ve loved the unlovely and forgiven the undeserving…unless you’ve exhausted your human ability to love, and willfully chosen to tap into the love that God offers to flow through you---unless you have done these things, you’ve merely waded in the shallow end of love.

  But if you do these things you are diving into the depths of a power that has no equal—

the power of Love.

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