Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love pt. 2

So, my last note seemed (to me, at least) very disjointed and incomplete. Thinking about it, I realized that this was because I had tried to focus on the human aspect of love without addressing the divine aspect, which was, in hindsight, a ridiculous thing to attempt.

We were created in the image of a loving God, a God who is, in fact, love, according to 1 John. When we fell, we retained this image, albeit a now-broken, imperfect image. When we love, we are conforming more fully to God, becoming more like that image we were created in. However, even unfallen we were but images of God, not gods ourselves, and our fallen status further compounds this. All this to say that every single instance of human love is but a shadow, a distorted reflection in a broken mirror of the great love God has for his prodigal children.

I think this is why God gave us love, and people to be the objects of this love. Paul tells husbands to love their wives "as Christ loved the church." This goes both ways. If husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, that means that when a husband really loves his wife as he should, he experiences firsthand a shadow of the love Christ has for us, his church and his bride. Isn't that crazy? And it doesn't stop there. God is our Father; numerous passages attest to this. When a father (or mother) loves a child, he or she is experiencing a small portion of this divine love God the Father bears for us, his children. When we love, not only do we become more like God, but we experience in a small way the love God the Father has for us as His children, and the love Christ, God the Son, has for us as his bride, his beloved. This, to me, is mind-blowing.

Now I move to the other side of the coin. If, when we love rightly, we love as God loves, what happens when we experience pain arising from this love? What does that say about the pain a parent feels when a child runs away from home, scorning the parent? I am not a parent. Most of you reading this probably aren't either (most, not all. I'm pretty sure my mom reads this: hi, mom!). Picture this: your own child, that you have loved and raised and taken care of, as soon as he has the chance, betrays you, spits in your face and turns away from you. Imagine the pain you would feel. Then magnify this to infinity, and you have an idea of the sadness that God felt when He " was grieved in His heart" and said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth... for I am sorry that I have made them" (Genesis6:5-7). If you are married (or hope to be some day) imagine the pain of having the love of your life turn from your open arms and run, claiming never to return. Magnify this pain until you can think of nothing else, and you may come close to the pain that caused Christ to weep when he caught sight of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41).

Think about that. If you're anything like me, you don't think about it enough. Every time we sin, we are children rebelling against their Father, an unworthy bride running away from her infinitely worthy Lord. I leave you (and myself) with this thought: what we do, every tiny action we make, has consequences greater than we can imagine. Either we act in accordance with God's will, and please him, or we don't, and we grieve and disappoint our Creator, who knew and loved each one of us before we were made.

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