"Here!" I grumbled to my husband as he hovered over my shoulder. "I'll just stop what I'm doing so you can have my computer. I'll go take a shower."
"That is not love," I gently, plainly heard in my soul as I walked down the hall.
"Yeah, and it's childish too," I mumbled back. "Do you always have to be right, Lord? Can't I ever just complain and get away with it? No, don't answer that! I know! You are always right, and love is patient. Love is kind. Well, I don't feel either right now, whether I'm supposed to or not."
"Yet love is always patient, always kind," I felt Him whisper back, "never self-seeking, not easily angered. Love is offering up your computer without complaint when it's needed, thankful that your husband is willing to tackle the issues with your son's college software. Love is kindly, gently stepping aside so he can work."
"Hmmm" I sighed.
"Love also keeps no record of wrongs, but rejoices in the truth. It doesn't justify or rationalize or spin the truth, but accepts correction, because I am love, and I love you far too much to leave you to your selfishness."
"OK, Lord, I give. You win. Love doesn't envy or boast or compare. It doesn't grumble or whine or complain, and -- ouch! -- it doesn't compete, which is exactly what I've been doing, isn't it? Competing with my husband? How could I not have recognized that until now? Oh, Father. I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I know better. Love doesn't compete in order to be loved in return, or esteemed or found worthy. Love doesn't strive to measure up in order to be accepted. Love accepts us as is, faults and flaws and all, because love chooses to love deeply from the heart, abundantly, sacrificially and unconditionally whether it feels like it or not.
Oh, Father, thank you. Thank you for loving me enough to hold me accountable, for pruning my character in spite of the pain of the process, for forging my faith in the fire of Your all-consuming love."
For love isn't proud, but selfless and humble. It is choosing to apologize and mean it, to forgive and forever let it go. Love is the incredible moment of birth and the final breath of life and every single moment in between -- timeless and searing and deep, intense and tender and raw, severe and exquisite.
Love is a blessing, a gift and a choice, only possible because the great I AM, the One who IS love, Who always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, first and perfectly loved us, and His love never fails.
Father, teach me to love deeply from the heart, lavishly and without reservation, sacrificially and unconditionally, knowing it is only possible as I humbly, completely, transparently rely on You every step of the way. Amen.
Cindee Snider Re lives in Sussex, WI with her husband, their five children, two cats, and two Shichon puppies. She enjoys quiet evenings, long walks, good books, homeschooling her kids, and lots of good, strong, hot, black tea.
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