This is number 13 in a weekly series I began on December 21st/13 with a post called, “Married Forever?
The title of this post could be called, “Squandered Love.” It is not uncommon in marriage to see one or both partners disregard one of the main tenets of, or one of the main definitions of “love,”
Real love does not keep a record of wrongs.
I remember working with a woman who was livid because her husband didn't pray with her. Never mind that he wasn't even a Christian. In her mind, a husband is the spiritual leader of the home and a spiritual leader should pray with his wife for the family. As time passed, she was able to nag him until he did pray with her from time to time. She was happy for one week; until she realized that he didn't pray with her all the time. Real love for another person simply does not keep track of offence, whether the offence is intended or otherwise. There is no need to keep track because real love is simply doing good to another person; nothing more, nothing less.
In many marriages I hear things like, “Yes he left me a nice card that said nice things, but they're just words.” When I ask for further explanation, the person relates that at some point in the past, the “offender” had criticized or said unkind things. Therefore, in this person's mind, any good that is now done is discounted as being worthless.
What a tragedy!
We, all of us have good days and bad. Some days we're able to act in love, and other days we're self-obsessed. Some days we say mean things and mean them, but other times we say kind things and mean those as well. It is such a waste of opportunity, such a squandering of the potential to be loved to push it away, to reject it, to lose the chance to absorb love because of a desire to cling to the past. This type of thinking is usually tied to depressive thinking; the all or nothing thinking.
. If something went wrong this morning, the whole day is ruined.
. If I failed at this, I'm a failure.
. If she was angry at me for not taking out the garbage, she hates me.
And it's the same with God. God, our Creator clearly dislikes those thoughts and behaviours that are destructive to ourselves and others. He hates sin. Some people read our Creator's views on the sin in our lives and completely ignore the fact that “All good things and every perfect gift is from God.” They completely ignore the fact that “If God did not withhold even God the Son, Jesus, from dying to pay the penalty of our sins, there is not the slightest chance that He will withhold anything good from us.”
Don't squander the offerings of love in your life. Grab them. Hold them. Cherish them, and then freely give to others what you have freely received.More on this next Friday.