Most people would agree that love is a wonderful thing. Who doesn’t like love stories? The guy meets the girl. Something pulls them apart, but true love triumphs in the end.
The stuff of love doesn’t stop with the fairytale.
There are other kinds of love. The love of a parent for a child and a child for her parent. The love between friends. Love of pets. Love of hobbies, books, sports. People love to love things.
Until they don’t.
Love isn’t always rainbows and kisses. Sometimes love must be patient when someone else is taking too long. It shows kindness when others do not. And it has to say the hard stuff when the hard stuff needs to be said.
Genuine love is honest. It knows the truth, and love says the truth.
That’s not always popular, and it’s never easy to do. But if we love someone, then we do the hard stuff. That is love.
I’m terrible at confronting people. My wiring goes against causing conflict or hurting someone’s feelings, so I often hold back. I love the other person. I really do, but I won’t confront them.
And that’s where love stops being love and becomes watered down and useless.
Love isn’t a bunch of gooey emotions and butterflies. Sometimes love struggles. It hurts. It tells the hard truth with care and kindness. There are tears involved.
Love also accepts the other person, with honesty, right where they are. There’s no greater example of this than how God loves us. He went to great lengths for us before we ever knew Him. And He never tells us we’re okay, not to worry about all the stuff we’ve done. He doesn’t ignore our mistakes or pretend like they didn’t happen.
He covers them with His own blood.
There’s nothing dismissive about what he’s done. And that is love.
We want love to be easy and feel good, but the truth is love can be hard and feel awful. Sometimes it requires you to say no. You must draw a line and say stop. And that’s not easy. But it imitates the love God shows us—the kind of love that can bring real healing and change into your life and someone else’s.
And this doesn’t just apply to how we love others. It also applies to how we love ourselves. We should strive to be honest with ourselves, do the hard thing, draw the line. We do not love ourselves well when we never deal with our own lack of discipline or inflated selfishness. We also fail at love when we put ourselves down, aren’t patient, and keep bringing up our past failures.
Real love fosters freedom, life, hope, and much more.
God loves you. He loves you fiercely, and whether or not you feel it, it’s true. He died for you, and He’s calling you now. Read these verses and know that you are loved.
“I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.”
“Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.”
“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”
“The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.”
Psalms 63:3 – 63:4
“Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.”
“O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.”
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.”
“The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.”
“Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.”
“Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.”
“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.”
“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
“The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:”
“Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.”
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