My heart has been in Brisbane, and with all those we left behind when we came out of BCF. It is also still with those family we cut off for reasons of our own safety and emotional health. What does this say of me? It says that the love I crave has been tainted love, not genuine love. In fact, human beings don’t know what love actually is until God shows us. For if God is not just the perfect lover, but IS love itself, then anything that we humans come into contact with from each other which does not first originate from God is not really love . It is something else entirely. This is a difficult concept to get your head around. We like to think that humans can love each other just as well without God thank you. Mothers love their children, men and women love each other, lay down their lives for those they love, keeping them close, protecting them, giving them everything they need. But if we compare this to the love of God, it falls short consistently.
In dramatic or traumatic events, human love and sacrifice comes to the fore. We do indeed put our own lives at risk in order to save others, sometimes not even those we know, sometimes complete strangers. This indeed looks very much like Godly love. It is, for an instant, the personification of Godly love. But none of us can hope to replicate this for a lifetime. To suffer loss daily, for the sake of those you love is not possible for human beings, nor do I believe that God asks us to do this where our own lives have become degraded or imprisoned as a result. Only he is capable of this type of love, and it is therefore the reason that he alone is worthy of what the bible calls our first love. His love is pure holy and self-sacrificing, and only his love can sustain us. We can show a much lesser form of this love to each other, and a diluted version of it as it comes through our flesh. Only the love which is given freely, which both enhances the life of the giver, and the life of those loved, can be representational of God himself.
God’s life and being is never diminished by his longsuffering on behalf of the human race. He is not in bondage, or imprisoned, nor is his essence lessened by pouring out his love upon us, as we constantly turn away from him, give ourselves to others who are less worthy, worship things, and become spiritual harlots.
God does not for example, expect a woman to stay with a husband who beats her or her children, emotionally abuses her, is an adulterer, treats her with anything other than Godly self-sacrificing love. This is NOT love. A woman may believe she loves her husband, but a woman in this situation is NOT able to determine her own emotional state, as her perceptions are affected by the abuse. She believes she should stay with a man who abuses her because she loves him, yet, even God tells us to turn away from ungodly ones, to not even eat with them. So, it is evident that true LOVE, as opposed to true human love, which we must call something else to avoid confusion, is not one which benefits only one party. God’s love does not diminish his person; it is instead the perfect reflection of who he is.
It is therefore important for us to know what genuine love is. The true definition of love is nothing to do with emotions or even actions, since human emotions and actions are always less than perfect. The ONLY illustration of perfect love that we have is Jesus; and he in turn is the personification of God.
It is important then, to rearrange our understanding of real love. If my heart is still with those who have abused me, who care nothing for me, who have ignored my needs and diminished me as a person, and who continue to do so even after I have brought all this to their attention, then my heart is at fault. If I still find comfort in my memories, in the nostalgia of remembering what I thought was love, then I am seeking after something which is not God. Like David, I need to ask God to create a clean heart in me, or to put it another way, to help me to understand what real love is, and to renew my heart so that I can receive and perceive it.
Bernie and Meg
Authors of Tales from the Crypt)
photo by sheriffdave in photobucket
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Home is Where the Heart Is: Guest Post From Meg and Bernie
I am so honored to have Meg and Bernie, authors of the blog Tales From The Crypt share a guest post on recognizing God's love: