John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I grab my coffee and sink into the sofa, half wishing it would envelop me long enough for a quick nap. But alas, the cushions hug me tightly and I come to a cushy stop. I am tired.
The Bible says to “do for the least of these,” so I’ve been making up some hours by cleaning at the local veterinary hospital. Truly wonderful people work there. Unfortunately, the smells brought flashbacks to our Dash and his anxiety and crying has made it necessary for this chapter in my memoir to be abbreviated. I had to put in notice for the sanity of my household. Today was my last day.
What I enjoyed most about the cleaning was the opportunity to commune intently with Heavenly Dad while working my hiney off physically. I put my working mind in autopilot and had ample time to have serious heart-to-hearts with my Heavenly Father. With the added hours, however, no time to write it down!
A topic Heavenly Dad and I covered a couple of weeks ago, was actually prepping me for a conversation with my earthly dad. We are going to see my dad soon and he shared a concern that he’s afraid he’s going to call Eric by the wrong name. Saying “Archie and Tracy” for 28 years, almost as a single name, is making a challenge for him.
I shared with him that Eric is very secure with who he is. His feelings won’t be hurt. That was a comfort for my dad. I also got the opportunity to tell my dad, in a different way, about the pebble of love:
There’s a story about a penguin who was going to give one pebble to the one person he would love forever. If I stand back and look at that story it means if he wanted to love anyone else, he would have to take the pebble away from the first to give to the second. I think that’s the way most people view marriage. One pebble for one love.
The Bible is very specific when it comes to love, especially in marriage:
Eph. 6:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord [does] the church.
But what is love? The gentleman who wrote the book “The Five Love Languages” wasn’t just pulling information out of the sky. When the Bible said that husbands are to love like their own bodies, it is saying to learn about their wives, study to know her likes, dislikes, what makes her comfortable/uncomfortable, secure/fearful, and so on. No two people are alike (The five love languages) so loving needs to be specific to each person. Christ is the one perfect love. He gave all He had in sacrifice for us–He gained NOTHING except a pure relationship with us. We can learn to love by letting Him fill us, walk as He walks, and love as He loves.
If we love like HIM we love without expectation: expecting nothing in return and making accommodations for the comfort and security of those around us (while standing firm in our faith).
This does not mean enabling negative behavior, abuse, etc—allowing a person to walk in sin is never alright. This can look like this: we can’t do anything right or it’s always up to us to “make” others feel better. Manipulation and control: other’s happiness is dependent on our ability to abide by their rules.
Sometimes love might be removing ourselves from a situation for a period of time so the other person stops viewing us as the “fix-all” person (God’s job) and allowing Heavenly Dad to speak and/or do His work. They might not hear Him if they are focusing on us.
When God DOES heal: allow them to change and be quick to forgive, as our Father forgave us. Forgiveness means leaving their past behind and seeing them for who they are created to be. Bringing up the past will make their yesterday both of your tomorrows. God threw our sins into the sea of forgetfulness, how can we do any less for anyone else?
-End of Notation-
I explained to my Dad that I can’t have one love like the “pebble of love.” Love is specific to the person (example: multiple children, loving/showing all of them love but in different ways). I didn’t lose, give away, or stop loving Archie. His love was specifically designed for him. It doesn’t fit anyone else nor would anyone else be happy with it.
Eric’s love is a custom fit for him. I know without a shadow of a doubt Archie would not be comfortable with Eric’s love as their love languages are very different. Both would be miserable in the love of the other.
To make a long story short—too late—we should carry pockets full of pebbles. We need to be prepared to give everyone we come in contact with their own unique pebble: “love one another: just as I have loved you.”
“Why? What’s the big deal?” Verse 35 “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” If we don’t show…how will others know???
Until next time: Blessings!