- God: raw, messy, painful, sacrificial love - passionate, all-encompassing, ultimate, perfect love - beautiful, awesome, intimate love. What more can I say? "God, I love you; my God, I worship you; forever thankful, I am yours, forever"
- Marriage: real love=forgiveness when it least suits me; submission, respect, obedience; serving him when I feel like serving only 'self'. Real love=love which is alive and grows, and gets better and deeper the longer we are married. Real love=intimacy in ways which go far beyond the world's understanding of the word... Real love=unity, harmony, being 'one'. Real love is, a lot of the time, a CHOICE!
- Kids: loving Samuel, Thomas, Benjamin is completely overwhelming, and unconditional. This is a reality for me: nothing any of them has done, does, or will ever do, will make me love them more or less... (Sound familiar?!?!) Loving my kids is sometimes (most of the time if I'm truly honest) a sacrificial act of worship.
- Wider family and friends: love here is about giving as much of myself away as I feel God would ask me to. Transparency, honesty, integrity, and servanthood are again prime ingredients necessary for loving well.
- My 'Neighbour': physical neighbours, as well as others around me, those who I know but not well, those who do not know God, and whose understanding of Jesus is limited. To love my neighbour=to give, serve, to welcome into my home, to accept...and much more
- My 'Enemies': ...I'm still working on that one - no-one is perfect! I'm not sure how to do this... Who are my enemies? I mean, I'm not being asked to love Satan, obviously. So I presume this means loving people who I find unpleasant, difficult, unlovable. Loving those who hate me, dislike me or simply don't get me, those who hurt me, and give me nothing. In which case, love here must be first and foremost about forgiveness, surely?
- The World: "in the World but not of it" - I love God's creation, and feel increasingly challenged to make sure that is reflected in the way I live my life, by respecting the environment, eco-systems, natural food-chains, etc... But also, I have a growing desire to see God's Kingdom come, his Will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. And I'm sure that is God's transforming, redeeming love in me!
- Myself: I am realising that, the more I know myself, the more I love myself, and that "we love (...)because He first loved us" also applies to me loving myself. This is not me being narcissic and vain, but just living in the revelation that God cherishes my whole being, and the freedom that this revelation in turn brings. He sings over me. I am His child. I am Loved!!!! Whatever others think of me, it is a fact that I AM LOVED. And that I am not my own, I have been bought at a price, and I belong to the most loving One of all.
Wednesday, 14 February 2007
All things love
As it is Valentine's Day, it seems no blog site is complete without a little reflection on the 'alternative four letter-word'...And I find myself, at the end of this day, wanting to leave my own thoughts for this year, on the meanings of Love for me, here and now. My lovely friend Emma has written a really inspiring piece on this which it is well worth going over to Russell Ruminations for!! (sorry Em. It's for your own good, really...)