I’m learning a lot about love lately.
What is means to love someone purely, without expectation, without agenda, without selfish gain, without a guarantee of them loving you back. I’m finding this is the hardest type of love. It’s the most painful and often times the kind that breaks your heart.
It’s the type of love that doesn’t make sense and we can’t explain it. It is something that is ingrained in our nature and as we get older nurture starts to grow it. We don’t understand it and at times we don’t like it.
It’s the type of love that binds our hearts together – as families, friends, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, as community. It’s the love that is etched so firmly on our hearts the scar will always remain. The scars of the ones you love even when they leave or break your heart.
As I’m learning about this type of love and what it means to love, I’ve found that this type of love is seen as weak. Because this love doesn’t necessarily give me anything, I look like I’m being walked all over. But in reality, this love means dying to myself consistently. Which takes a lot of effort and strength.
There is nothing natural about choosing someone else’s best over my own. To love them in a way that gives them best can often cause me pain or struggle. I had a chance to do this the other night. A conversation started and old patterns came out. What my insecure self wanted to do was take the attention away from this person, to make it about me and cut them down. Instead I bit my tongue, smiled, and let the affirmation and attention go to someone else.
It was initially very unnatural and felt like I wasn’t being true to myself. Oddly enough, the quieter I kept, the more at peace and secure I felt. It was like I heard the whisper telling me that this was a chance to practice love.
Our culture would define love by what we get out of it.
Christ defines love by what we give to it.
I want to learn to love better. To love my family, friends, co-workers, and community with a genuine love that is offered freely. My love will be rejected – in some way or another. Rejection is part of life. It’s a painful part, but a central part nonetheless.
To live life trying to avoid rejection is to not live a life of love. Love in it’s truest best form. Allowing the possibility of rejection allows for us to continue to love without agenda.
And this is how Christ loves us. He loves us knowing that we have and will reject Him. Yet His love is selfless. It is without expectation. It has our best in mind. It does not retaliate when we scream and shout. It only craves all of us.
What stronger love can there be than the love that wants all of us and would literally die so we can have a chance at best? His love is so very very strong. I want my love to imitate His.
Your love is strong.