The world would have us believe that love is an emotion . . . a feeling. Something out of our control. Something that just happens to us.
But the world is not the source of truth. Truth tells us something very different from the world.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Love is an action. A commandment, not a choice. And certainly not an accident.
And sometimes, when you least expect it, love is hard.
In a popular Peanuts cartoon, Charlie Brown admonishes Lucy with the words, “Lucy, you must be more loving. The world really needs love.” To which Lucy responds, “Look, Blockhead, the world I love. It’s people I can’t stand!”
Can you relate?
What do you do if the people you can’t stand live right in your own home?
Your spouse? Your kids? Yourself?
It seems we are living in a culture of hopelessness these days. Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. And sometimes, oftentimes, we are hard on ourselves.
It’s easy to find justification for our lack of loving.
Perhaps your husband is angry often, and he takes that anger out on you and your kids.
Maybe you have a child who is sometimes disobedient or disrespectful.
There may be even be a small likelihood that you are frequently impatient and even yell at your husband or kids.
For many of you, these are not exaggerations, and in fact may be just the tip of the iceberg.
I have something to tell you that may be tough to hear. So I need for you to know that this tip of the iceberg comes from my own personal experiences.
Love hopes all things.
Remember, I told you at the beginning of this post that love is not an accidental thing that happens to us. And despite what you may have been led to believe, it’s not even a choice.
It is a commandment.
Jesus tells us to love Him and love each other. Period. He doesn’t tell us to only love those who deserve it (Which of us does?). He just says to love. And then as Paul shares with the church at Corinth — to hope.
Our husbands and children need for us to stand in the gap for them. They need us to love them enough to hope that they (we) will become more and more like Christ. Even when it seems nearly impossible.
For nothing will be impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)
I enjoy that Charlie Brown was hopeful for Lucy. And that he understood that we “must be more loving.” He was right.
People will always fail us.
But part of loving is hoping, and part of hoping is seeing the potential of those you love.
Even when they sometimes pull the football away just as you kick.