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What Matters Most (Day 16)

on March 19, 2012

“Love means living the way God commanded us to live.  As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.” (2 John 1:6, NCV)

The second purpose of life is that God wants to teach us how to love each other.   It’s about loving our families, friends and ourselves, and especially our Christian sisters and brothers.  This is one of the most important lessons we’ll learn.

However, with the challenges that our lives bring (i.e., work, school, bills, etc.), we forget to love and listen to each other.  We forget to spend quality time with our loved ones.  Relationships sit on the back burner.  Busyness is an enemy, which in itself can be physical, mental or emotional.  I know these well because I’m guilty of doing it. 

For the majority of our 14-year marriage I’ve been self-absorbed.  My preoccupation with protecting myself has been the catalyst of many an argument or silent moment at our house.  The basis for my behavior stems from a life-altering experience during my early teens.  It was after this event that I in my 14-year old thinking took on the heavy duty task of protecting myself physically, spiritually and emotionally.  The help I needed desperately was pretty much nonexistent then, and my destructive behaviors carried over into each new year, affecting my most intimate relationships.

Recently, I’ve come to recognize these behaviors and currently learning why they’ve created such messes in my life all these years, particularly in our marriage.  God in His graciousness is teaching me how to prioritize my life, starting with the relationships.  I place my husband and our family first in my prayers next to thanking the Lord for a new day.  Do I continue to fall short?  Yes!  Do I continue to keep praying and seeking God’s wisdom?  Most definitely. 

This thing called love is what’s most important to God, and when it becomes displaced we lose sight.  That’s why we have take an active approach in making our relationships a priority instead of an appointment.   This is the area where I struggle the most, and I have to be intentional in doing so if my relationships are going to be healthy and growing.  When we’re intentional, we build stronger relationships. 

A legacy is also built from our relationships, and important for us to deposit positive energy into them.   For me, the moments growing up at my grandparents’  house are some of the best times of my life, particularly the times I spent with my grandmother.  It didn’t matter if we baked a cake together or sat in silence, her expression of love always blessed me.  Her love for us grands was always active and fruitful. 

And though we live over 500 miles away from each other now, her legacy of love continues to warm my heart.  Now at 88 years old, whenever I visit her I become that seven-year old girl again.  I already smell her homemade butter cake in the air!

Love is about creating such experiences.  It’s never boisterous or rude, nor does it insist on its own way. (I Cor. 13:4-5).  Warm the hearts of those in your life today.

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