Love is a four-letter word

My Grandma Queen had a lot of strong opinions. After a stroke, she became even more opinionated about certain things. Particularly in her likes and dislikes.

Instead of not liking something, she HATED it. If a show came on TV that she didn’t like, she HATED it. When a song came on the radio she didn’t like, she HATED it. If someone disagreed with her opinion, she HATED that person.

I remember my dad once laughing when she proclaimed she hated something, and he just looked at her and said, “Mom, the Bible tells us not to hate. So, maybe instead of saying you hate something, you should just say that you ‘dislike it intensely.'”

Without skipping a beat, my grandma looked at him and said, “well, I dislike saying that intensely.”

That exchange still makes me laugh a little, and yet it makes me think. Instead of hating, we should dislike intensely. But what about love?

How many times a day do I say I LOVE something? Let’s see: I LOVE that episode of Gilmore Girls that was on at the gym when I worked out in the morning; I LOVE that  song playing on the radio as I drove to work; I LOVE that scone I picked up from the bakery; I LOVE that email my friend sent me; I LOVE the last book I read; I LOVE that pair of shoes I saw online; I LOVE snuggling with Bazinga; I LOVE getting text messages from my husband throughout the day; I LOVE, I LOVE, I LOVE.

sunset cross for webIn fact, if I were to list the number of things in a day that I say I love, the list would be pretty long. But do I actually mean that I love them? Or, like my grandma, should I rather say I “LIKE them intensely?”

Because although the Bible also tells us to love, I don’t think God wants us to give away our love freely to just anything. Perfect love comes from God. And while I believe God has very strong feelings about the world he created and the creatures in it, I believe that God reserves his wonderful, perfect, all-consuming love for his people. For you and me. He may like intensely the universe and all of the beauty and wonders he created, but He only loved one thing enough to die for it: us.

So, for things that I truly love: God. My husband. My family. My friends. My dog.

I may say that I love my house, my books, my clothes, my job, the dessert I had last night, and a million other things, but what I really mean is that I like them intensely.

The things that I really love can never be replaced.

 

 

An Affair of the Heart

Nothing symbolizes February more than a heart. It’s the month of love and it’s the month designated by the American Heart Association as American heart month. But did you know that February also boasts “An Affair to Remember” month, Creative Romance Month, and National Weddings Month?

For the next two weeks, the Inkspers are going to be celebrating all things related to the heart from romance to heart health. Join us each day as we celebrate “An Affair of the Heart.”

5 Things Every Husband Needs to Hear

  1. “I respect you.” The Bible tells husbands to “love their wives”, but wives to “respect their husbands.” In order for a man to feel truly loved, he must also feel respected. Mary Connealy once told me that she told her daughters to marry a man that is easy to respect. Excellent advice.
  2. “I believe in you.” Husbands need to know that you believe in them even when they aren’t able to believe in themselves. Help them see how God is using them and where you envision God using them in the future.
  3.  “Thank you for fighting for our family.” There is a spiritual battle going on that a husband must fight every day, knowingly or unknowingly, for the hearts and minds of his family. Thanking him for being a man who stands for what is right and for providing for his family helps him fight the next day with confidence.
  4. “I feel safe with you.” According to Beleif.net, “Show your husband that his presence is needed and his protection is important. Sometimes we as women take on too much and we need someone to say ‘Honey, that’s enough.’ Thank him for being your buffer and standing guard when you really need it.”
  5. “I love you more every day.” Let’s face it, who doesn’t need to hear this often?

 

Heart of David

He only lived seventy years, but David made a lasting impression for generations to come. Giant killer, check. King of a nation, check. Man after God’s own heart, check. Let’s not forget he is the father of the wisest man in history and a great, great etc…grandfather of the Messiah. Athough David did some not so note-worthy things, he always rebounded. It was always about his heart. A heart attuned to God.

Psalm quote (250x185)After David sinned horribly and tried to cover it up, (which, come on David, did you really think you were going to get away with it, King or not?) he still found his way back into the shelter of God’s love and grace. Not only did manage to pour his heart into his Psalms, they have encouraged and helped millions of people since they were written. Isn’t that a writer’s dream? To have their writing last for centuries and still be viable and inspiring?

So, for my Biblical figure to have a conversation with, it would have to be David. I’d ask him what in the world possessed him, meager though he was, to go before a giant and his army. How did he draw on the strength of God’s love, even when he was running for his life? How did he face Nathan’s rebuke of his and Bathsheba’s affair and his hand in Uriah’s death? Did your son Solomon ever act like he knew more than you?

These and more questions would fill a notebook that I would ask if I could.