Friday, May 18, 2012

Love. True Love.

My husband was a super sweetheart last night.  He watched Cinderella with me.  Voluntarily!  He says it was his first time ever watching it.  Personally, I think he was just curious about the movie he knew I would be introducing to our daughter at a very early age.

Cinderella has always been my absolute favorite Disney princess.  My mom says I would watch it over and over and over again as a little girl.  I must have, because I found I still had every single line of the movie memorized - even though I haven't watched it in years!

I've always been a hopelessly incurable romantic.  I really think it all starts back with stories of princes and princesses, knights in shining armor, and love at first sight meetings.  You want to know something I've discovered at the old age of 24?  Life isn't a fairy tale.  Yes, I do believe it has it's fairy tale moments; but life, especially love, is not an at first sight-happily ever after feeling. 

Love is a choice. 
Happily ever after takes work.
Isn't that what God's Word teaches us, anyway?

Think about I Corinthians 13.
Love is patient.  kind.  doesn't envy or boast.  isn't arrogant or rude.  doesn't insist on it's own way.  is not irritable or resentful.  doesn't rejoice at wrongdoing but with the truth.  bears all things.  believes all things.  hopes all things.  endures all things. 
Do those qualities come easily for any of you?  They don't for me.  In my sinful heart I am a selfish creature.  I want my own way in my own time.  I want to be served instead of serve.  The list goes on...
But, this kind of selfless love is expected of Christians, Christ imitators.

Think about Ephesians 5.
To wives, Paul says to submit to their husbands.  In other words, they are to "obey," "yield to admonition or advice," "arrange themselves under."  In speaking to husbands, Paul says that they should love their wives as Christ loved the church.  He gave Himself up for the church.  Philippians 2 states that he took upon himself the form of a servant.
Sacrificial love is commanded of Christians.

Love is selfless.
Love is service.

While I have no problem with sharing my love of princess movies and stories with my little girl, allowing her to pretend and dream about her Prince Charming and happily ever afters,  (Chances are, I will be pretending and playing right along with her.  I did get up at the crack of dawn to watch the Royal Wedding, after all.)  I pray that at a very early age she will also learn what true, Christlike love is.  I pray she will see it lived out in her parents' relationship with each other, with her, and with others.  And, I pray that our desire to faithfully live out this kind of love will point her to Christ, the only One who truly loves her selflessly and sacrificially. 

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