Love is the Only House

Reposting this one...just because my heart is full and I want to share again that  Love Never Fails.

I hang out with teenagers of every size, shape, and gender.  I have a soft spot for young ladies since I once was one and have two teenage daughters of my own.  I guess you could say that God has softened my heart in a Titus 2 kind of way.  I love to listen to them and to mentor them.  The girls ask me the funniest most heart felt questions:

"Robin, really, how do you do it?"  "Do what?" "Be an adult?  I mean, how do I just go from being a kid to doing all of  this stuff on my own?"
"Robin, how did you and Chris meet?  How did you know that Chris was THE One?"

"What do you mean wait to have sex until I get married? What if he's not good at it?"
Most of these questions lead to frank discussions. For the girls to really respect and hear the answers to their questions, I have to open myself up.  I have to be honest and vulnerable about my journey through young womanhood. This humbling journey always winds its way to God's definition of true love. 

When I was young, I was convinced that love was an emotion that would make me happy and that the fluttery feeling in my stomach meant that I was in love.  I was also fooled into believing that being sexy would assure me of always being loved and always meant having the upper hand in a relationship.  It sounds silly, but as I talk to young ladies from all over, it seems that this skewed thinking is pretty prevelant. 

In my own experience, this thought process has lead to my own character assasination.  What do I mean by that? What does that look like? I would sacrifice anything and everything to be lovely and loveable to some man. Once those sacrafices had been made, I was vulnerable to changing my hair, my skin color, my body, my passions, my likes and dislikes, and my values for the hope of love.

When I tell the girls about this, they look at me cross-eyed.  "What? Robin, are you kidding? You did that?" They themselves are in the midst of this struggle, but cannot imagine their friend, mentor, and mother having gone through such a thing.  I guess that is why I tell them. Not because I've never made a mistake, but because there is a message in the mess.  The truth is that...

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable and keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenver the truth wins out.
Love never give up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7 (NIV)

Love is accompanied by feelings, but they are a by-product of the choices that you make.  When I choose to endure a long period of nonsense, I am being patient. I am showing love.  When I take care of someone and receive nothing in return, I am being kind. I am acting lovingly.  When I give someone the benefit of the doubt instead of being irritable or returning rudeness, I am loving the unloveable.  When I forgive, I am extending peace and in return I receive freedom. 

God's definition of Love is extravagant. It is overwhelming.  Let's be honest, on your own, it can be exhausting.  1 Peter 4: 8 says that we should "Love all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and [a]disregards the offenses of others]." (AMP)  That is so much bigger than me.  It is not natural. 

That's the cool part.  That's when the supernatural has to take over.  In Galatians 5:22 ,we learn that the one of the first fruits of the Spirit is love. Fruit is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as a product, a result , an offspring, or outcome.    Which leads us to a question, an outcome of what?

Simple.  Love is the outcome of accepting Christ as your Savior.  When you accept Christ, God indwells you with the Holy Spirit (John 14: 15 - 17).  Through God's grace, you can love authentically,deeply, and intensely.  Sounds amazing, almost life changing? It is.  It changed my life.  Why don't you let Love change yours?

Points to Ponder:
  1. Substitute your name into 1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7.  Does that sound like you? Do you want it to?
  2. Listen to Martina McBride's "Love is the Only House" or "Love Never Fails" by Brandon Heath.
  3. Pray. Admit you need help. Ask Jesus into your heart. Let Him show you how to really love and be loved.

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