Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thankful Today for Love

How cute are they???

James MacDonald has defined love as "You before Me." It's my favorite definition to use, since it's so simple and so right-to-the-point. You before Me. Your needs before My needs. Your happiness before My happiness. Your choice before my choice. Your interests before mine.

When I talk with brides-to-be, I can see the love glowing from their faces and its a perfect time to talk about true, godly, sacrificial love. But how often do I truly love my husband? Am I instructing these young gals to do something that has become rare in my own life?

Having an engaged daughter in the house is a lot of fun. It's fun to plan the wedding. It's fun to watch her try on her dress and see her face sparkle with delight. It's fun to add special, unique details that will make her wedding a day to remember. (As you can tell, Dad's the one paying the bills and Mom's the one having all the fun!)

Young, engaged love is so selfless. Austin lets Katherine eat the best bite of his cookie (he eats around the edges and gives her the soft middle piece). Katherine scratches his head as he naps on the couch. Austin drives out of his way to pick up something Katherine has forgotten at home and needs at school, just to make her smile and not worry. Katherine heats up leftovers for her starving fiancee and feeds him first, before putting a plate together for herself. All they can think of is each other's well-being and happiness. It's so nice to have them around.

But something happens after the marriage and we start to take each other for granted. It may take five or ten or twenty years, but it happens and it's sad when it does. Instead of scratching his head while he naps, I read a book. Instead of feeding him first, I tell him there is cereal in the pantry. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not really all that bad - but it's not as self-less as it was in the beginning. It's just very comfortable...

Same with our relationship with Christ. We are so overwhelmed with His gift of life, that we would cut off our right arm to please Him when we are first saved. But over time, our love becomes second nature and we find ourselves pointing to the pantry, as Jesus stands hungry for our attention at the kitchen counter.

What can we do about this? Is lack-luster love simply inevitable?

Well, there's good news, gals - we don't have to stay in this comfortable but lazy love. We can make the choice to pay attention and love deeper. Remember, love means "You before Me" which makes love a choice. I can choose to be loving to Dave and put his needs before my own. I can choose to love Dave and put his interests before my own. I can pour into his life and look deep into his eyes and be thankful for the godly man God gave me for a husband. I can go deeper...

And the same goes with Christ. I can choose to love Him as well. The only way I can put His needs, or desires, or will before my own, is to know what His will is - by being in His Word. The more I know Him, the more I will love Him. I can choose not to take Him for granted, but to have a grateful heart for His presence in my life! I can make this choice...I can go deeper...

So, today I am thankful for love. I am thankful for the swirling, emotional, selfless, engaged love that lives in my house right now. I am thankful for decades-old, kind-hearted, comfortable but willing-to step-it-up and go deeper love that I have for my husband. I am thankful for eternal, patient, all-encompassing, sacrificial, faithful and ever-present love, given to me by my heavenly Father.

As a matter of fact, before the snow comes tonight, I just might take my husband for a walk on the beach, stop him along the way, look deeply into his eyes, smile, give him a kiss and lift my leg...

Or maybe we can do that in the house instead...


  1. Ok...I'm still laughing from that last line....
    great post though...great reminder to be intentionally..our spouses and our God.

  2. The thought of running down to the beach in the cold was a fleeting one...I suppose if I was young like Katherine I would do it, but being an old lady and all...

    I did imply being intentional, not spontaneous, right???

  3. You did, right Beth?...I smiled all the way through and then laughed right out loud at the last line.

    I was somehow blessed with a husband who likes to cook. He's so good to me...just like my Heavenly Father!