Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

When people find out that I am engaged after having dated someone for four months, there is a spectrum of responses that range from “Oh my goodness was it love at first sight?!” to the skeptical raised eyebrow and “Well, are you sure this is the one?” I have yet to figure out how to gracefully respond to either query nor do I really know how to deal with the range of responses in between. 

So I was thankful when I heard this while listening to the Tim Keller marriage series the other day:
“Therefore what the Bible means by love is a commitment. At some point love is a decision to serve somebody and be committed to somebody regardless of your feelings and regardless of how that person acts…. At some point, you make a decision- I am going to love this person. Your feelings will always come and go but the problem is a lot of people don’t get married because they are sure that if this person is ‘the one’ that my feelings will never ebb. If this is ‘the one’ then I’ll just know it’s ‘the one’ because I’ll never have any problem. I will always feel like giving myself to that person. You will wait ‘til hell freezes over if you wait for that. Love is an action first that leads to feelings not a feeling that leads to an action.”

It’s difficult for me to internalize that the love I am given is not conditionally based on my performance as a fiancé/wife (which is good, because my track record stinks). But if it was or if my love for my fiancé was based on their track record then I can see why only being with someone for a few months is not enough time to establish that record. If my feeling of love is conditionally based on how you treat me then of course a few months of you treating me well is not enough time to decide to make a lifetime commitment. So I guess I understand their skepticism. 

But what if marriage is not that? What if marriage means that even when I am being a terrible selfish person (which I will be because I’m human) that you still choose to love and commit to me? And what if marriage means that when you are being a terrible selfish person (which they will because they are human) I will choose to be committed and loving to you?

But what is truly overwhelming is that is what Jesus does every day. And even though I will never perfectly love someone, Jesus perfectly loves me when I am selfish all the time. I am His and He is mine. And every day He holds up His end of the bargain even when I fail again and again. That’s capitalized Love. Every day I choose not to prioritize Him. I choose not to Love Him. I choose not to serve Him. And some days I even curse Him to His face. And yet, there is nothing I can do today to make Him love me any more and nothing I can do today to make Him love me any less. 

I think I am only beginning to experience the tip of the iceberg of what it really means to be unconditionally loved by my Savior.

And it’s kind of overwhelming.
And beautiful.

P.S. Photo by Megyn Barroner


Laura said...

Love you! This is great!

Claire said...

What a perfect paragraph to post in this context- I'm so glad you heard this and can verbalize what I imagine you already felt/knew. Thank GOODNESS salvation (or marriage) isn't based on conditional love!