In keeping with Paul’s one liners in this chapter, let’s look at this one as it relates to our theme of love in the home. And what a solid piece of text this is to think about! To love well...to not hide...to love authentically. Let those ideas sink in a minute.
When I read statements like these they both challenge and inspire me to level up in my relationships. It is super easy over time to slack off, or be lazy with good manners, or to get really self-focused and think more about your needs than theirs. It’s also easy to let disappointments pile up, and put the emotional mask on to hide our hurt feelings.
And while all this is not desirable, it happens to the best intentioned among us! But if you were to step back and think about the kind of relationship you really want to foster with people it would not include unfinished emotional processing, insincerity or disrespect. And it probably wouldn’t include being stingy and small with your love, or hiding behind an emotional mask of self-protection.
Loving well takes effort and continual maintenance.
When I marry a couple, as part of their ceremony, I remind them that a good marriage is a forgiving marriage. And this is not something you do once or twice, this is something that needs to be placed in the very center of the relationship, as a perpetually flowing fountain full of grace, love and forgiveness. It’s the only way that two imperfect people can remain in healthy alignment with each other, and not do one another harm.
To love authentically means to come from a real place that is totally your own, from within. It’s your sincerest self, your spirit self, your core nature on the inside. It’s from this place that you love someone, and it’s from this place that you receive love from God for yourself first before anything. And you only get that with time spent there. There’s no other way around it. You have to spend time with yourself and God to keep the fountain of love, grace, spacious forgiveness flowing.
Forgiving God, thank you for your fountain of love and grace in my life today. I desire for that fountain to flow in all directions from our center place together. Thank you for forgiving me and releasing me to be generous with my forgiveness of others. Let love flow in my relationships today. Let it be done, and let it be so. Amen.