Written By: Tayler Cathrine
Love, love, love. It’s plastered everywhere, especially during the month of February. I see those live, love laugh signs. The ”love yourself” saying. Love coffee, love my dog, love my car, love the chicken sandwich, love, love, love. This word has become so commonly used, I feel we have lost sight of the true power of this word.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”1 John 4:8
This verse really hit me on Valentine’s day. How can a person know love if they do not know God? All those who are ‘loving’ people and don’t know God, can only scratch the surface of what love is, because they do not know God. Do you see? Their love will not suffice. They do not have a true understanding of what love is. This should have us wanting to yell it from the roof tops! God LOVES you, REALLY loves YOU, ALL of you. It should have us feeling heartache that these people do not experience that all-encompassing love only God can give.
I liken it to having a child. I love my husband. Then we had our son, and there was a love that was inside me for this child, that I could not explain or express. Any parent knows and understands that feeling and meaning. I was convinced I couldn’t have more kids because I wouldn’t be able to love them as deeply as I did my first child. Guess what, I had four more and my love continued to grow to depths I couldn’t understand.
This love God gives is what I want the hurting to be able to experience. It is a love that surpasses our understanding. It is complete and satisfying when sought from the One who can give true love… God.
My husband and I are about to embark on his longest deployment. One thing us ladies at Women Soaring have been joking about, is that it’s my turn to date Jesus. What?!? Date Jesus?? Yes, because my stability, security, LOVE, sanity, hope, encouragement, etc. comes from the Lord.
Does my husband love me? YES, but he is human. I am human. Human love always falls short, and we cannot expect each other to be the one to fill our every need. That is unfair to us both.
Let’s look at agape love. “Agape is the term that defines God’s immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It is His ongoing, outgoing, self-sacrificing concern for lost and fallen people. God gives this love without condition, unreservedly to those who are undeserving and inferior to Himself” (https://www.learnreligions.com/agape-love-in-the-bible-700675).
I love the self-sacrificing part. It is not a tally or tit-for-tat love. When we begin to understand the depths of God’s love we can begin to rest in His love and emulate it.
It’s my turn to date Jesus, because there are going to be times I am sad, lonely, my husband can’t talk, or to be there with me to comfort me, guide me through parenting, go on outings, fix the thousand things that break during deployment and so on, BUT God is there with me through it all. He gives me the peace, protection, guidance and tough love. Yes, tough love! We’re in a culture where even churches are confusing the meaning of love. This doesn’t mean that when we’re so wrong or clearly choose to disobey God and His command that it’s all okay because God is love. When your child goes to touch a hot surface, do you allow it?? No, you want to protect them. You teach them, guide them, protect them. This is what our loving God does.
As we prepare for deployment once again, my husband and I have begun the tough conversations. Boundaries, finances, expectations and we’re doing our best to set ourselves up on a better foot than the first time. We are actively in prayer TOGETHER. Asking for wisdom and guidance. Let’s reflect on God’s love. That is the kind I want to be giving and receiving. I want the active love: forgiving, grace filled, guiding love NOT the I-love-a-hot-dog kind.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.Psalm 86:15