This is a topic that has been stewing in me for maybe a year and a half... ever since overhearing an interesting conversation between two college-age people, a young man and a young woman, at a ball game. And lately, it has been specifically on my heart.
The young woman was debating what a possible new tattoo should say. She thought maybe, "you have the love," or a similar wording. Her reasoning; everyone has all the love inside of them that they need. There was more to the conversation, but the gist of it was that if we search inside of ourselves, we will find all the love that we need for our relationships.
In my opinion, that seems like a very idealistic statement. The first thought that popped into my mind was, "if everyone has all the love inside of themselves that they need, then why do we have so many conflicts that center around relationships, divorce for example?" I guess you could argue that those people aren't searching deep enough, but I would say differently.
I know myself. I know that I don't have enough love inside of me, even to love Josiah at times. How can I say that?! Because it's the truth. I'm a selfish person. I often only see what I want or what my problem is, I miss out on the hurts that other people have. I say, "this is what's best for me." I've done it many times, I have a lot of practice (I am a youngest child after all). Maybe I'm not searching deep enough... nope it's not there, I don't have unconditional love.
So many times we see love as an emotion. I think you can feel love, but ultimately, will you always have that feeling? The answer is no. So what then? Love has to be a decision. It can't be only when it's convenient or easy. True love is willing to give up my "rights," give up the me, myself, and mine; to put someone else first, make them more important than myself.
The Bible says it so much better than I can:
4 "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
~1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Only God's love is unconditional. Do we even know what that looks like? Ephesians 3: 18-19 shows us a very small glimpse.
18 "And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." ~Ephesians 3: 18-19
Happy Valentine's Day!! May the unconditional love of God overflow from your heart to those around you!