WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LOVE?
My chair where I spend the bulk of my day is on the far side of the room and directly behind the chair where my husband spends the bulk of his days working at his computer. I sense his tension when the stress level rises. I try to pray for him. But my mind drifts, and I find myself asking God for the things that I think will satisfy my husband. I want to love him well, but I wonder if I know what “loving well” truly means?
After 42 years of marriage, you would think that I would know the meaning of love.
When a new trial faces me, I realize that I have only scratched the surface of what true love looks like. My way of loving involves my own ideas. I want to help my loved one; I want to bring enjoyment to my loved one. Surely those are good meanings of love, aren’t they?
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LOVE IN THE BIBLE?
And then I look to the Scriptures. Using the “search” bar on my phone’s Bible App, I find that God’s meaning of love goes much deeper than what I have been pondering:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
It is not my shallow love that is the truest way of loving—no, the love of Christ, who gave himself for me and for my husband is what really counts. Jesus loves my husband far more than I ever could.
So when that new trial hits me, involving additional medical treatments, at the same time that a new trial hits my husband, involving additional medical testing for him, I wonder . . . How can I love him with the same kind of love that Jesus offered?
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF CHRIST’S LOVE?
Does that love mean that I will neglect my own care for his sake? Does that love mean that I will direct his treatment and take full responsibility for the ways that I think he should be cared for?
No, I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer only “I” that is living in me. I can trust Jesus to care for and love my husband when I fall so short. My prayers and my encouragement to seek Jesus are actually the best ways that I can show love, the true love of Christ.
I would love to invite you to join me over at Chronic Joy to read the rest of this post, and to join us for our monthly Prayer Prompt of Scriptures and Prayers to read together. Click here for the audio blog of this post also.
Once again, the timing of our Savior has proven to be such a rescuing gift for me. I wrote this post many weeks ago, not knowing that on the day of its posting, my husband would be meeting with those Specialists to talk about his further treatments and upcoming surgery. As I laid down my own ideas of how best to serve and love him, God gave me a gift to show that He, Himself, would take such good care of him.
My husband picked up his phone last week to hear the voice of a nurse asking him a question. Would he be willing to join in with their research? If so, a personal assistant would meet him on his first heavy day of testing and escort him for an additional test and blood-work. I began to cry, as I heard the word “personal assistant.” Because of restrictions at the hospital, and because of my own health weaknesses, I could not take care of my husband in the way I would have wanted. But God had already arranged for a caregiver who knew just what my husband would need.
Then we began to prepare for his final day of testing and meetings with the Specialists, only to see that a major snowstorm was blowing into the area, right in the path of his 2 hour commute to downtown Chicago. As we were praying, one dear friend messaged and asked me for any Scriptures that we had been given. So of course, I went back to read these verses from our life passage. And there in the middle, lay the word that up until now had slipped right past me:
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.Isaiah 55:9-11 NIV
You can be sure that just as our Father has not missed one detail as we have prayed, He will not miss one detail as you pray also. Our Lord will care for those we love far better than we could. And HE will show us how to gift the love that HE plants within us for those we care about. Truly, His ways are so much higher than our own.
Will you join me at the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond, and offer your prayers and requests along with me today? Click here to share a request, and to pray it forward for others who have posted a request there.