Thursday, February 20, 2014

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

What is love?

When I was having a marital crisis and felt that I did not love my husband anymore, this was a very important question for me.

What was love, what was is it exactly that was missing?

“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. ... He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf
He felt the same way, and told me, that he did not love me anymore.

There was no loving feeling in our marriage, no passion, no great sentiment.

For him, finally, it meant searching the feeling with other woman.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
For me it meant a search for what love is, the Biblical love.

The love that goes beyond our feelings, beyond our fantasies of romantic love.

My relationship with God wasn't at its greatest moment.

I had lots of issues and one of them was love, and what God's love meant, especially what it meant in my life.

I tried to find answers in my relationship with my son.

“To truly try means to accept God's love, his healing, to accept the world can be ugly, but your heart doesn't have to be. It takes courage, Finley the warrior. You haven't held on to your anger and bitterness in search of healing, but as a banner of your hurt. Because it's real and visible and strong, " she said. "But so is God's love and so are those arms he's holding out for you.”
― Jenny B. Jones, There You'll Find Me
My relationship with my parents is very difficult, my mother has many issues with her parents, and it is hard for my father to show his feelings.

They have told me many times that they love me, but I have never quite understood what it means.

With my son, I was overwhelmed by love.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2
It was so fierce, and so hard to understand.

And so mixed with a need.

A need to be with him, to be there for him, a need for his love and appreciation.

Because I am a perfectionist, and I could not unite my heart with my head, my first reaction to explain love was by denying that need.

“When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of 'No answer.' It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, 'Peace, child; you don't understand.”
― C.S. Lewis

For love to be pure and perfect, you have to separate yourself from that need.

To truly love, it cannot be selfish; you cannot love someone because you need them your life.

Love must go beyond need.

You must not need the person; find a way to be happy and live your life well without that person, and then you can really love them.

So, you would love someone by killing that love first.


Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
Kill the feeling, and leave the words.

Then I thought that love would be in the acts.

You love someone by showing them love, by doing loving acts, even if you don't feel love, especially because you don't feel love, THEN it is true love.

Again, love became a task, without feeling, with nothing spontaneous or happy about it.

“It's not about finding ways to avoid God's judgment and feeling like a failure if you don't do everything perfectly. It's about fully experiencing God's love and letting it perfect you. It's not about being somebody you are not. It's about becoming who you really are.”
― Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Woman

I learned to control my heart, I learned to control my acts, and even my tongue.

But I did not learn to love my husband.

I could act like I loved him.

I could feel that he was important to me, because he was the father of my son.

I could even feel tenderness and caring towards him, for all the years we had been together.

But I could not feel love and what really was in my heart, was hurt and bitter pain.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7
Little by little God started changing me.

In my search I had found out that I could not change another person, only myself.

So, I prayed God to change me, to change my heart, to give me a loving heart, to make me a loving person.

And in that process I found a loving God.

“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”
― Tullian Tchividjian
God, who is filled with feelings.

God, who needs me.

God, who acts on that love, who cares and wants to be close to me.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:18-19
We did not make it with my husband.

He found someone else who gave the feeling of love to him, made him feel in-love again.

But I learned what it to love and to be loved.

And how to show it to my son.

“Here's the paradox. We can fully embrace God's love only when we recognize how completely unworthy of it we are.”
― Ann Tatlock, The Returning
Love is to need you and show it to you, to be vulnerable.

Love is to hope, against everything, that you will love me back.

Love is to have faith in you, and in your love, always.

22 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures and love the meaning behind your message!

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  2. What a beautiful and raw post. I've been there.

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    1. Thank you, Nikki. It's a tough place but things do get better :)

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  3. I am loving the flower pictures! Beautiful!

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  4. I haven't been married, but the Mister and I have been together for over 8 years now. A baby, on our second dog, and been living together for years. But, I've been through some of this with him - it's heart aching, and breaking. Thank you for being brave to share your post - :)

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    1. Thank you, Meagan. Realationships can be hard, especially when the two people search different things. Like what happened to me. I can now understand that he wanted to feel in-love, have that special feeling. And when it was gone, for him, the relationship was not worth all the work and sacrifices he had to make.

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  5. Your post made me think of one of my favorite quotes - have the strength to be vulnerable. It's hard to strip down to something so bare for the world to see.

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    1. Thank you, Stephanie. But honesty also pays off. It's better to be bare than use energy in covering up.

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  6. This is a very real and, as another commenter stated, raw post. It's beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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  7. Beautiful post. Marriage is hard work and I have definitely experienced someups and downs in it. Love is a tricky thing but oh so powerful!

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  8. You've learned a lesson some people never learn. You have to love yourself before anyone else can love you. It took me a long time to learn this lesson too.

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    1. Very true, Kay. I'm glad to hear you have learned it also.

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  9. What a great saying and oh so true.

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  10. Come on summer, I love these pictures!

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  11. I am not a religious person ... but the concept of love is universal.

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  12. This was absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing... I agree, love must be selfless to truly be love!

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    1. Thank you, Clarissa. I'm glad you could relate. And true love is selfless.

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  13. This is truly beautiful, Joanna. Welcome to our Recommendation Saturday family! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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