Monday, July 09, 2012
What Is Love?
As a parent, have you ever had those moments when your child blows your mind with a question or a statement that you clearly thought he or she should know. Yeah, I had one of those moments yesterday and as I sat there reflecting on it, my heart went through several different emotions before I formulated my answer.
Yesterday, as we were sitting in church, trying as much as I could, with a sleeping baby in my arms and children who decided it was a good time to start picking at each other which I was sure was going to turn into a wrestling match at any moment, to concentrate and soak in a few brief moments of worship time with my heavenly Father. I leaned over to one of the rascally children and spoke in his ear that he needed to pay attention to worship and that I loved him. He whispered back that he didn't understand what I was saying.
At first, I was thinking he didn't understand because he didn't hear me. So I leaned back over to his ear and asked him if he didn't understand why we worshiped with the singing or did he not understand the love part. What he then said kind of shocked me. He said he didn't understand the love part. He said he didn't know what that meant.
At this point, many thoughts were going through my mind like, why does this child not understand that? I've done everything that I know how to do to show him that love. What have I done or not done that he should even question that? Why is he bringing this up now? At church. In worship. When we are suppose to be concentrating on God, not having a distracting conversation. I'm sure the people behind us were wondering why we were doing all this talking also. I could just feel the comments that were going on behind their eyes.
After wrestling with my own feelings of inadequacy, disappointment and even a little bit of irritation that he wasn't getting it. I simply asked God to help me answer him....right now. Sometimes, it is best not to let certain topics go because you may not have that opportunity again. As I laid my heart before God in that moment, I asked him to help me help my child know what it truly meant.
God answered my prayer immediately and gave my heart the right answer, the one answer that truly mattered. Love is not this mushy gushy feeling, Love is not truly from me. In my humanness, my love is corrupted by sin, selfish desires and is wrapped up in the word "me". The true meaning of love is God. God's love is perfect. It is only by Him that I can truly love or ever have any deep understanding of it.
So I leaned over and whispered to my dear one, that the truest example of love is when God sent His only son to die on the cross. (John 3:16) He gave up what was precious to Him so that I, and all of His creation, could truly live. Not live here on this earth but our heavenly home...forever. God's love is unconditional, pure and Holy. My love may fall short, may be dysfunctional, and may be exhibited based on my emotions of the day but God's is not.
When we look at love, we should not look for the right answer in the people we know because they come tainted by sin, unable to truly show what love is. The example that we should look to is the One who is love. That love, if accepted, covers our sin and makes it possible to have a relationship with Him. That unconditional love cannot be diminished by our actions, is not fluctuating from one day to another but is solid and steady and always encompassing us.
I am glad I was able to have that moment in time to remind my child about God's love and even in that, my heart was also reminded of it. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in trying to please God, doing the 'right' things that we think are good, trying our best to live a life that is acceptable to Him, that we forget that nothing we do could ever comes close.
Thank you, Lord, for your unconditional love. Thank you that I don't have to try to measure up, that your love is always there for me. Thank you for that gift.