Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What is love?

1 Corinthians 13:4 - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

What is love? That sounds like such an innocent question. Everyone has their own answer as well. In today's society we often throw the word out for things that we don't truly love. I mean there are degrees of love as well. I love my friends less than I love my wife. I love my children more than I do myself. I might love my third cousin once removed that I haven't seen in ten years, but my best friend I love more.

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22

I think one of the defining aspects of love is presence of mind. Thinking about the person, not only when they are right there beside you but also when they are absent for a while. There is a saying, "absence makes the heart grow fonder." When my wife was working in Mississippi for a few months I really experienced this saying to be true. The more she was away, the more I missed her. I would turn to say something to her, and she wasn't there. Or I would go to find her and realize she's not home this week.

Luke 12:34 - For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I don't know that it actually makes the heart grow fonder, but it reminds us where our hearts truly are. Could I truly say I love my wife, and then she take a month away from home for work and I say "I didn't miss her at all." Or if I were asked where is my wife, and I said, "I'm not sure. We got married and then went our seperate ways. I really love that girl." How can I say I love her if I don't know where she is? If I don't know what makes her happy? If I don't know what she hates or dislikes, or what her favorite color is. Or even the food she is allergic to? Is that love?

Yet we seem to hold God to a different standard. Many of us say we love God, but we don't look for Him. We don't search Him out or find out what makes Him happy. We don't look for what He dislikes or what He wants from us. We simply go to church once in a while, and then the rest of the week we live our lives for ourself. Is that love? Shouldn't someone who claims they love God spend their time trying to make God happy? Making sure that what they are doing is God's will? That every chance they get they can spend a little time with Him. How many of us actually set aside a little time each day just for God? And then actually do it? It's easy to say I'm going to give 10 minutes every morning to prayer and time with God, but then ACTUALLY doing it becomes a chore. It shouldn't seem like a chore, but we get busy with life and start worrying about what we could be doing instead.

Proverbs 23:26 - My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways.

Each morning as I begin my devotions, I begin with this small prayer. I think it should be said, or one similar, before beginning any time with God. Bible study, prayer, even sacred silence.

Lord, open my lips to praise your holy name. Cleanse my heart of any worthless, evil or distracting thoughts. Give me the wisdom and love necessary to spend time with you in (prayer, study, thought) with attention, reverence and devotion. Father, let my prayer be heard in your presence, for it is offered through Christ our Lord. Amen.

If you say this prayer, say it slowly and reflect what each word means. What it truly means to have your attention on God. What does it truly mean to spend time in reverence? How do you show your devotion to God? Make your prayer time, study time, and all things with God in a manner that truly reflects your love for Him.

What is love?

I cannot say that I love you
Unless I have walked your dreams
Showered in your kisses
Tasted your streams

I cannot say I love you
Till I have rested in your dawn
Your words showered like dew
Your gossling turned swan

I cannot say I love you
Without gazing in your eyes
Swinging backwards my apathy
Flying through your skies

I cannot say I love you
When your heart I don't know
As your distance draws near
My yearning for you grows

I cannot say I love you
And not hang on each word
That from my mouth be proclaimed
My God and My Lord!

I cannot say I love you
Without first being taught
That no great love has man
Than to do what you wrought

I cannot say I love you
Because my love is not perfect
But you can shape me and mold me
Till your love I reflect

I cannot say I love you
If I do not love myself
So I can love my neighbor
Love given from true wealth

I pray God will open each and every persons heart that reads this blog and this poem, and teach them to love Him fully. To open their minds to the acceptance, forgiveness, and love that God is pouring out on them each and everyday. And teach them to love each other as freely, and fully as God loves them. That they will learn to pass on the grace that God has given them, and to encourage a world of peace, a world of love, and a world of the will of God!

In Christ,