"What a man desires is unfailing love." Proverbs 19:22a (NIV)
"I LOVE this dress!" she exclaimed, "I simply throw it in the washer and it comes out looking new!" My friend was trying to convey to us just how necessary this garment had become in her closet. She "loved" it.
We use the word "love" so indiscriminately that often the true meaning of love gets lost. Or worn out from overuse. Today's key verse tells us that everyone desires love and not just any love, but unfailing love. One of the lessons I learned when I became an adult was the realization that things wear out and need to be replaced. At my first wedding (yes, I said first), I remember receiving several sets of towels. One wise older woman told me to tuck a set away to save for later. She was so right. After many washings and years of use they became my favorite rags. I needed to pull out another set because these failed to provide that warm-fuzzy you need when stepping out of the shower.
Is love like that? Does it just wear out or fall apart? I wondered.
For years, many things in my life fell apart. Moving every year when I was young caused loving friendships to fall apart. Loving family relationships were also fractured. And the very first sexual abuse I can remember was in second grade, then fourth grade, then by a church leader when I was 13. "Love" became a numb, meaningless word to me.
So my question became, "Where could unfailing love be found?" Does lasting love exist when everyone around me is falling in and out of what they call love? In 1 John 4:7 I found my answer, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." The Greek word for "beloved" is agapetos, which means "dearly loved." The very first thing this verse tells us is that we are dearly loved by God. The second piece tells us we can love one another because of God's love.
The only way we can fill that gaping hole that needs unfailing love is to fall into the arms of our Everlasting Father. When the Bible tells us, "God is love," it is saying that without Him, we can only create temporary, fragile and indiscriminate love.
Our abilities are limited, but oh sweet sisters, we are daughters of the very God who IS love! He is the only one to turn to for unconditional, uncompromising, unfailing love. When we accept His love for us, then and only then, can we pour out true love onto others.
Dear Lord, how can we comprehend the love You have for us? There is nothing on earth that even comes close to it! Teach me to accept Your love and then shower others with the grace and love You have given me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do you know this Great Love?
The Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God by Nancy Stafford
Broken into Beautiful: How God Restores the Wounded Heart by Gwen Smith
Visit with Luann on her blog and find out more about her new radio program “Encouragement Cafe with Luann & Friends.” Beginning Saturday May 30th from 2-3pm(EST) you can listen, laugh, learn and call in to share a cup of thoughts around a cozy table of friends. Listen online or find a station near you at www.wtru.com.
Make a list of all the things that fall into the category, "I love…"
Have you tried to fill your need for unfailing love with anything on that list?
Write a prayer to God asking Him to replace your worn out list with His unfailing love.
What fills my love list?
How can I accept God's love for me?
Who around me needs His love to flow through me and to them?
Romans 8:37-38, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NIV)
1 Corinthians 13:8a, "Love never fails." (NIV)
© 2009 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.