One day I realized God has so changed me that I was okay and even thankful that two people were loving me not as I wanted to be loved but in the way they chose to express their love. But that has not always been the case with me, and in this little testimony is a mighty message for us all. About loving people and being thankful to them even when they express their love for us differently than we desire.
Rewind a bunch of years. My then husband with whom I had a wildly tumultuous marriage and who hurt me exceedingly despite the pain he caused me genuinely loved me and tried the best he could at the time to express his love. But I with my heart filled with sin such as pride, bitterness, selfishness, self-pity, anger, vengeance, judgment, and condemnation was demanding and self-centered and refused to accept his expressions of love to me.
One day was the clincher. He surprised me by filling up the kitchen table with the purchase of tons of my favorite foods. He was financially poor and this made his act of love an even bigger deal. But in my sinfulness I doubt I showed an ounce of love and thankfulness in return but made certain he knew he wasn’t living up to my expectations and standards of how I wanted to be loved. Self, self, self. Sin, sin, sin.
After we divorced, God gave us an amazing love and forgiveness for one another and when my ex husband died we both knew each other’s love. And God blessed me with this memory of how greatly I failed to love a child of his who did the best he knew how to express his love to me.
I am compelled to ask you this. Are there any people in your life whose expressions of love you have rejected? Whom you have judged and condemned for not meeting your way of wanting to be loved? Whom you have failed to acknowledge with love and thanksgiving for how they have expressed their love to you?
Only the Lord Jesus Christ loves perfectly. We all fall short when it comes to love. And instead of judging and condemning and rejecting one another for how we fall short in loving, we have an opportunity to model the love of Jesus by loving and being thankful in return.
I would give almost anything to go back to that day as I stood by the kitchen table and have the opportunity to lovingly and humbly exceedingly thank the man I was married to. Or even to call him all these years later to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. But he has passed away, and only God knows how sorry I am for what I did so terribly wrong that day.
Please friend, don’t miss your opportunities to be thankful to people for how they choose to show you their love.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34 NKJV
“Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 NKJV