My son and his wife are getting divorced and my heart hurts. Ten years ago we were overjoyed at the thought of the promise of two Christian people joining in marriage and working for the Lord together as youth ministers. Ten years just dissolved in a matter of a few minutes before the judge.
It hurts me to see my son so destroyed. How could this happen? The mama bear in me wants to react. Part of me, and I must admit a big part of me, wants to give her a tongue lashing to hurt her as much as she has hurt my son. But the Lord keeps telling me to love her. In my conversation with the Lord, it goes like this. Love her? I want to just take a few minutes and jack slap her with my words. Love one another. But Lord, don’t you see what she did to my son? “I saw”, He says. And of course it comes to me, He did see. He saw what they did to His son and yet He still loved them. And I too must love her. Even when I don’t want to, I have to. The love of Christ compels me to love those who hurt my kids, who act like a “Karen”, and those who don’t deserve love. None of us deserve the love of Christ.
My husband and I are celebrating 40 years of marriage this year. I can honestly say that in 40 years I never seriously thought about divorce. Murder at times maybe, but not divorce. I know he has felt the same way. We certainly have had our differences and problems along the way but nothing so major that we couldn’t get over it. It has to be because we made God the center of our life when we got married. He has been the head of our household from day one. There were times we didn’t act like it or follow His lead but overall He has been our guide. We could never have made it 40 years without His grace and leadership. We chose to love each other no matter what came up.
Love is a decision. It does not come naturally. When you have heard the same lame joke for a thousand times, you have to love him. Love him enough to laugh like it’s the first time you have heard it while inwardly rolling your eyes and groaning. Love him enough to put that toilet seat down without slamming it hard enough to shatter the toilet. Love is a choice. Proverbs 10:12 says love covers all offenses. We have to choose love. My husband loves me no matter how much fabric and sewing supplies I purchase. He never says anything out loud. He chooses to overlook my failings because of love. Love is a choice. I look at my spouse and see how much he loves working with homeless. I have to choose to love the homeless. It does not come naturally.
I choose to love because Love is of Christ. He tells us to love one another no matter what we feel like doing. Love one another. Love my husband as he tells me another joke and while inwardly I pray for mercy and grace not to lash out and beg him to stop. Colossians 3:14 says “and above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Love does not come naturally for some people. Love is a choice to be put on. I was raised in a home with very little love. Love was not nourished and encouraged so for me it is something I have to work at. Every morning I rise I have to pray to let love rule my heart. I have to “put on” love. It is a choice.
This is not to say that we are better than anyone because we made it 40 years. Some hurts are too deep, and some situations are too difficult to repair. Even in those times you have to choose to love one another. Not when we “feel” like it but we love because He first loved us when we were undeserving. 1 John 4:19- “we love because He first loved us.” Love is a choice. Sometimes it is so hard to do, but you have to decide whether to love or not. The greatest thing we can choose to do is love. Choose Love.