Monday, November 17, 2008

Love Dare - Day 22: Love Is Faithful

Oh, my wonderful Love Dare-ers, I have done you wrong. Two whole days I missed without even an explanation. Let's just say that, silly me, I thought it would SLOW DOWN after the wedding madness. But, that is just when the FAMILY MADNESS began! 'Cause my whole fam came into town for the wedding. And most of 'em had never met our Miss Sophie! Craziness was a given!

But, we are back home now - brrrrrrrrr! - so, hopefully, back to normal!

And, I hope that you can forgive me!

I am just gonna dive into today ... here we go!

"I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord."
- Hosea 2:20

So, this is a touchy one in our house. Not because either of us has ever been unfaithful, but because one of us has had an unfaithful spouse in the past. A past which came slamming back into the present last week when our oldest child (from Hubby's first marriage) got married. A happy event, but one that forced hubby to come face to face with his ex-wife and the one with whom she was unfaithful. YIKES! Thankfully, the event was also bathed in prayer, and so went off without any unkind words or deeds. Just a little (OK, a LOT) of uncomfortableness.

Now, we have spent the last few days learning what love is SUPPOSED to be. The love given freely to us by God and the love demonstrated so perfectly to us in Christ. The love that we are now supposed to give. A tall order, I know. Thankfully, with the love of our Father and our Savior, there is also forgiveness and faithfulness. Where would be without it?

So, when Hubby's first marriage fell apart it was heartbreaking. I was a witness to it all and I can tell you that my man handled it all by the letter of the Book. Meaning that he was a strong Christian witness to his wife (whom I knew and had a friendship with at the time) and to all of those around him. He did not ever spread it around or give cause for gossip. He merely asked those closest to him to pray for his marriage. For over a year he bathed his marriage and his wife in prayer, sought Christian counsel (and begged her to join him - she did not), fell on his face before God and did all he could do to save the marriage. She however wanted no part of it. As soon as she was "caught" she left their home and moved in with the "other man". He still tried though. He was faithful.

There eventually came a time, though, when he had to pick up the pieces and move on. He had sons whom had to be shown that their dad was OK. Sons who needed to see that their dad could go on. About a year after THAT we began dating and eventually married. And, with a strong Christian faith and faithfulness on BOTH sides, we are strong. But it is not in US to be strong. It is all in HIM and what HE gives us.

In the book of Hosea, there resides a love story. It is not a widely read book, and thus, the story is not well known. But it is a beautiful example of God's love, His faithfulness, and His redemption that is poured out onto His children. A story about love, adultery, forgiveness and NEW love. A story with a HAPPY ending. I encourage you to check it out.

The point is this - AGAPE love, true love, is faithful even when hurt and even when the other party is unfaithful. This does not mean that we let ourselves get tromped on over and over. It means that we offer faithful love and forgiveness and a chance at healing. It is not, we KNOW, in us. But it IS in the One who teaches us to love. And HE can love that way through us! I have seen Christian marriages survive this kind of hurt and bounce back with a love that is stronger and a TRUST that is stronger, in the end, because of the testing.

I PRAY that you have never and will never know this kind of betrayal. But faithfulness, and betrayal, are not restricted to adultery. There are other kinds of pain and betrayal that we must find and offer forgiveness for. Sometimes on a daily basis. I encourage you to offer these things to the Lord and let Him love THROUGH you. And, let Him love YOU!

Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similar to these, "I love you even if you don't love me in return."

In Hubby's case, she had no interest in returning his love anymore. She made a choice to walk away. But that did not alter HIS choice to offer her forgiveness and a promise of renewed love and trust. His offer was not accepted, however. And how many times do we not accept our Father's offer of forgiveness and renewed trust and unaltering love? How many times do we not OFFER it to those that we love the most?

I encourage you, today, to start fresh and let love reign in your marriage and in your life.

See ya tomorrow!

1 of ya left some love:

Kelli said...

Welcome back to the snow & cold! I can't wait to see more pictures of sunny AZ and the wedding!!