Sharing: Praying for the True Meaning of Love

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.

18 thoughts on “Sharing: Praying for the True Meaning of Love

  1. So true. God’s ways are higher than we can imagine. When our strength is gone, He remains strong.
    He will carry both of you through the days ahead – “day by day, and with each passing moment…”
    Blessings from above – rain or snow or sunshine. All good gifts come from God.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much dear Lisa for all of your prayers and love. You are such an encouragement to me as I watch you share about the ways that God has led you all along too. He truly does give us such good gifts as He carries us through the storms. Blessings, love, and prayers for you today too.

      Like

  2. Thank you for sharing how God is giving you and your husband the grace you need when you need it, Bettie. And reminding us of the deep, deep love of our Savior. And this – “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.” Such a needed reminder. Thank you for all this encouragement, my friend. Love and blessings of strength and peace for each moment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      I am so grateful that you were encouraged here today. You are that beacon of hope to me so often, dear friend! I am grateful that our Lord keeps holding us through every wave, every storm, and every mountain. He really is so faithful to us, to keep giving us His deep, deep love. Blessings and hugs and prayers for you dear sister. xo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lynn,
      Oh I am so thankful the Lord stirred your heart. He is so good to send us His Word at just the right time. I need His grace so much! What a blessing to know that He keeps us connected with each other in His Body, across so many miles. Love & Blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Bettie, the love you have for your husband and your desire to love him like Christ loves us is so beautiful. So many marriages fail due to selfishness and reading and feeling the love in your heart is beyond refreshing. Thank you for providing such a beautiful example for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Wendi, I am so thankful that the Lord blessed you here. He truly has worked in both of our hearts over all these years of our marriage. And it’s only HIS love that has kept us going. Such a gift of grace. Blessings and love to you, dear sister!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful post Bettie!
    How our heavenly Father cares for each one of His children in ways we can’t even envisage!
    My mother is in permanent aged care now & my Dad living in his home with my brother’s support.
    I feel the pull to go & help but as you know I have chronic health conditions which limit my capacity to do so & I live 10 hours return drive away. But God knows & He has others caring for them 😀
    And I will go visit when I can.
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Jennifer, it is such a struggle to long to be able to care for our loved ones, isn’t it? What a blessing to remember that our Lord cares deepest of all. I will lift you and your loved ones to the Father today. You are such a blessing to me and to so many others. Love & hugs across the ocean!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so late in getting here to comment. I apologize. I want you to know I am continuing to pray for you and your husband. God bless you both and send the healing you both need, in Jesus’ name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Cheryl, your love and support means so much to me. It is truly only HIS gifts of strength and hope that are carrying us through. Blessings and love to you too, dear friend.

      Like

  6. Dear Bettie, this is such an inspiring post. Your devotion and love for your husband is palpable and beautiful to behold. I love your giving, compassionate heart and the deep desire you have to love him and others as best you can. Your abundant prayers alone are like little love letters to God that He delights to respond to. Although illness, weakness and weariness might derail your good intentions sometimes, it’s clear that you are graciously expressing the love of God in how you pray, speak, think, and write. Thank for these words and for the beautiful prayers. They are such a blessing to read and reflect on. Blessings, love, hugs and continuing prayers for you and your husband. xoxo PS: I’ve left a comment on the Chronic Joy site as well. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Thank you for all of your encouragement and prayers for me and for Barry too. In this online world where we are feeling the shakiness of these times we live in, I am so appreciative of how God has gone above the ways of this world and woven His people together here. To know that He has given us the means to communicate and share His love is such a wonder to me. And you are one of those wonders, bringing my heart such gifts of the Lord’s grace, helping me to keep looking for His dear presence surrounding me. Blessings, love, and prayers for you too, dear friend. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Tea With Jennifer Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s