It is the ultimate trump card. You toss it down with a flick of your wrist and no one dares cross you: ‘love.’ No one can question your actions. If done in the name of ‘love,’ it is good and decent and obligates others to support it.
‘Love’ is god, we say.
But we have it backwards. God is love; He defines what it looks like, both its possibilities and its limitations. His love is far greater and more magnificent than I can ever understand, let alone write.
Since ‘love’ is our lowercase ‘god,’ we twist its definition into anything we want it to be.
Love is messy. We know that. From the mama who wipes poopy bottoms, to the woman whose man keeps looking at porn, and the husband who tries but seems to have lost his wife to his children. Love is messy.
And when Jesus went to the cross? That was messy, too.
When we define love ourselves and manufacture our own cookie cutters of what it is and what it looks like, we miss out on the grandeur and truth of what God has given us. We tear down boundaries when we do not like them, because we are free, so there.
If I made up ‘love’ myself, it would always be lacking. It would always be full of my mood swings and how I felt, instead of the everlasting and unmovable intrinsic characteristics of God. And because HE decided what love looks like, I no longer have to grovel in fear of being known, for He knows me, the real me.
The moments I have most known love are those when I have sat on the porch of our house and cried, broken before my husband over sin in my life or confusion. Getting dressed up and smelling new roses is delightful, but it is only a symbol of love–not the substance. The substance of love is never sentimentality.
Love is never a soft feeling that justifies sin. Rather, it is forgiveness and the hope that we can be more like Him today than we were yesterday.
Supreme courts do not define love. And neither do I. God does.
Those rose petals, lovely as they are, will fade and fall, and so will my relationship if only based on how good I feel. Love is messy. Who knew how beautiful messy could be, thanks to our Lord–Love in a manger, Love who sent the plagues, Love who told the adulteress to stop her sleeping around, and Love who is our glorious King.
Keep the Faith,
Photo Credit: Paige Overturf Photography