Monday, November 15, 2010

The 'In Love' Experience

Do you remember what it is like to fall in love?  Do you remember that first encounter where you saw them ... across the room ... and you were instantly drawn to them.  Something inside of you said ... WOW!  But was that true love?  At some point in our lives we have had those moments of when we thought we were in 'love' with someone.  We thought to ourselves that this is going to be the person ... this is it ... and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life living with sweaty palms, an accelerated heart rate and the dream of living happily ever after.  Then for the next little while, we did nothing but dream of spending every waking moment with that person and in some cases some of us were somewhat successful of doing so.  We try to live the dream.

However, after a period of time, the honeymoon comes to an end and we find ourselves looking at the other person that we are in this relationship with and we are wondering what happened to the person that I "fell in love" with oh so many moons ago.  The sweaty palms are gone.  The accelerated heartbeat has calmed down to a normal pace and the dream seems like something that you will only find when you are asleep.  That's when "true love" has to kick in.  That's when the rubber really hits the road and you see what your relationship is made of.

So what is 'true love' then?  The bible gives us a great definition of what love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
I want this type of love in my life.  I want a love that says it isn't all about me.  I want a love that knows no idea of giving up or giving in.  I want a love that stands the test of time.  Although, when I look back at my relationship with God and I can't help but feel disappointed with myself.  You see, I have often treated God like I was in the 'in love' experience.  In the beginning, there were all these hopes and dreams.  There was the aspirations of doing great things with God and watching my life completely change because I was 'in love' with God.  Together, we were going to change this world and live happily ever after.  But then the honeymoon stage was over and I was left wondering if anything had really had changed at all.  That's when the enemy would come in and try to convince me that I was never any different and I would go through the next phase of the journey with less of a passion and vigor for Christ.  I was limited in my passion.

For the people that know me, they know a phrase that has followed me around for quite a while now is "Never Lose the Passion".  It finds its roots in Luke 10:27 which states, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”  I have been challenged over and over again by this phrase which reminds me daily that I need to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength and with all my mind and I do that by loving my neighbour the way that I would want to be loved.  And to me, there is the key to any successful love relationship.

We need to love others the way that we need to be loved.  We need to love them unconditionally through their faults and failures and of course the good times too.  We need to give what we would like to receive.  We need to give our best effort, and in doing so, we need to keep God as the central focus of it all.  We don't do it to get back for ourselves, but we do it because we want to do it as if we were physically doing it for God Himself. 

So no matter what stage of a relationship you are in today, remember to share love for what it truly is and not for what you thought it was going to be.  There is nothing wrong with the honeymoon, but just remember that the rest of the journey is going to be far more rewarding when you love someone the way God wants you to love.  That way is when God is placed first in your life and when you love the way you want to be loved.

Never Lose the Passion: ... for God ... for one another!

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