Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Love Journey: Be Devoted

on February 15, 2014

10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

Devotion is defined as a strong love, or loyalty.  Some related words are:

caring, compassionate, considerate, cordial, doting, forgiving, friendly, humane, kind, understanding, warmhearted; ardent, fervent, impassioned, passionate, warm

Just reading these words brings a smile to my face.  As I read down the list, I am just feeling a sense of understanding about the way God calls us to love one another, an understanding that is different than any I have had before.  I used to think that to love someone meant that  I had to be attracted to them, whether emotionally or physically….I used to think it meant that I had to feel something special for this person all the time.  I used to think that if my feelings weren’t loving feelings, then I no longer loved the person I was with.  This kind of love I used to have in my heart for others was a very conditional love.  It is no wonder that most relationships (friendships and romantic relationships) didn’t work out.  I was not a loving person.  I was very self-centered in the type of love I showed others and in the type of love I expected to be shown by others.

This is only the first half of the 2nd verse on this 18 verse journey on love.  I am already feeling so convicted that I have done this “love” thing all wrong in my past, and so incredibly grateful that God is helping me to do this “love” thing all right this time around.

Looking at the words listed above that are related to “devoted”, it is clear to me how one can be loving, rather than just feel loving.  Defining love as a choice to exist in relationship with someone, I can see how these characteristics are essential pieces to being a loving person within the context of this choice.

As I look at these words, I also see an “inventory” that I can be taking in light of my role as a loving person in my relationships.  Am I caring, compassionate, considerate etc.?  If not, why not?  Another thing I can ask myself is “How can I be more ______ in my relationships?”

We all fall short of God’s expectations of us on a daily basis.  This is especially true for me when it comes to being a loving person – whether with my children, my fiancé, my family, friends, or co-workers.  This is a constant challenge for me, one that God has been working on with me for a while.  The beautiful thing is, although we all fall short, this is not a surprise to God.  He has gifted us with the most amazing model of what TRUE LOVE is (see John 3:16), and it is His intentions that we come to know Him so that we can come to be more and more like Him every day. Let me be clear in stating that it is only by God’s grace that any of us can become what He has created us to be!  Without God’s grace, I am the same person I always was.  But with His grace, I am slowly becoming the woman He designed me to be!

I am so glad that He is working with me in this area now.  I am exactly 5 months and 3 days away from marrying the love of my life!  He is such a beautiful gift in my life, and I want to love him well.  I didn’t do such a good job as a wife in my first marriage.  I was unaware of what “love” really was, and even though I thought I was doing an ‘OK’ job of loving at the time, I now realize that I hadn’t even broken past the surface of what real love looks like, sounds like, or feels like.

Bottom line – God is love.  With God in the driver’s seat of this journey, I trust that I will be a more loving person at the end than I was at the beginning.  And if you ride this journey out with me…I trust that you will too!

Reflect:

What characteristics listed above are difficult for me in my relationships?

Where am I doing well?

Am I devoted to the relationships I have chosen to exist in?

 

 

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