Love. What is it? (Part 7)
The next type of love that we will discuss is the love that loves unconditionally. This type of love has the implication of loving for the literally the long haul. This type of love involves a commitment to remain together through good and bad. It is something that most Christians have forgot about today.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint- heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together”. This type of love is called Pragma. The term means a long lasting type of love that is found between those that have been married for decades and desire nothing more than to please their mate. What can we learn from this type of love?
- PRAGMA Love Lasts
Today, we hear the stories of people making a commitment to marry each other and remain together until death due them part but too often it never makes it past the prime of their lives. Why? Because at the first sign of trouble we abandon ship? Why do we do this? Because we have forgot what it means to love or we have never experienced this type of love in the first place.
I heard a story of a young man that grew up in an abusive home during his childhood. This young man was blessed with a kind and compassionate heart to love others. All he wanted was the opportunity to share his heart with others but all he received was a demented sense of love. Being young and inexperienced he began to accept this behavior as normal and decent. One day as a teenager he heard this story of Jesus Christ and His love for humanity. He learned that what he, the young man, knew as love wasn’t love. This young man trusted Christ and began to love himself but most importantly Christ. He made a decision to end a century of family abuse. This is something that he currently teaches his children and they will teach theirs. True love lasts long and doesn’t quit when the times get tough. What if Jesus called a time out when He was being punished for our sins? How about your love? Does it last long or does it fizzle out when those around you fail to meet your needs?
- PRAGMA Love Lifts
This type of love lifts the burdens of another as they struggle. Have you ever had a bad day and it seemed like there was no one to help you in your struggle? When you had that bad day all you desired was to have someone care about you and love you until the pain went away. PRAGMA love is not only there but will take action that you need in this time. It has the same meaning of a wife being comforted and held by her husband’s protective arms and comforting words of assurance.
I remember once, when I was a child, I had been given a pet dog named Sunny. She was a beautiful white and brown lab-mix. She was given to me as a puppy and I raised her until she had her first litter. One day, a few days after she had puppies, she bit someone and was taken away to a pound to be put to sleep. As a young child I was totally devastated! I was so overcome with grief that I refused to eat. My grandmother came to me one day and asked me what was wrong. When she did, I broke down into inconsolable sobbing. She came over and held me until I went to sleep in her arms. She did the same thing over and over again for about a week until I was over the loss. You see, too often we think about how we need to benefit from this moment or this episode instead of thinking of the other person first. Too often marriages fall totally apart because one or both people refuse to put their feelings, dreams, desires and emotions on the back burner for another in their time of need. We are at best utterly and hopelessly selfish altogether. Don’t believe me? Answer these questions:
- If you were sick and your partner was just as sick as you; would you be willing to go out of your way to care for them? Or would you complain about you being sick and having no-one to care for you?
- If you had a bad day at work and your partner had a bad day, which caused them great pain, would you defer your feelings to the back burner so that you could devote the remainder of the day to helping them without the possibility of even being heard?
- If you and your partner both had something to say would you let your partner go first or would you?
- If you were down to your last bite of your favorite food, would you give up your last bite to your partner?
- Would you allow your partner to have the last word in a conversation in a fight?
- Who is the first person to break down and accept the wrong in the fight?
- Would you be willing to accept wrong even if you didn’t do anything wrong?
At our best we are all miserably selfish and about ourselves. How about your life? Do you take time to love your spouse, children, church members and others with a love that seeks the best for them even if it inconveniences you and your family? When we have to defer to another and their feelings we become bitter, hateful and even scornful; especially when we have the same need. Church members are usually the worst of all. We pretend to love new people and sinners that get help from the church but I wonder how many Christians go home and complain that this person gets _____ but ______ have never offered that to me. That behavior is childish and self absorbed. It is only when we learn how to love without murmuring or bickering will we see the true blessing of God’s love. In tomorrow’s devotional we will talk about the most misunderstood and misused type of love. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.