I wrote this in 2006, 3 years ago now and it was based on the past experience of a marriage gone wrong. I had been living single since 1996 and finally had put to rest all the hurt, angst and bad feelings generated by divorce after being married 25 years. I wrote this as a revelation from God and it felt so good to finally get to this point.
Today I re-read it. The last 3 years I've explored a couple of shall-we-say romantic relationships, one of which went as far as engagement before it too went horribly wrong. To say my heart was crushed would be an understatement, but I had learned to forgive and to refuse offense by this time and I applied that understanding as each fresh hurt was inflicted.
It worked, again.
Of course it worked, it's the basis of healing God gives us and I can say I am free of the effects of that wounded relationship also.
But the thing I wanted to say in regurgitating all that history, is this . . . . Loving Freely is as true today as when I wrote it. I have NOT been diminished by the rejection and betrayal delivered by a very wounded man. I believe my heart has grown more again in understanding; of me, of the very wounded condition of man and of God. There is a sense of being made stronger by this experience and the subsequent, though brief relationship which followed (it was a bust also!)
I've learned there is no failure in trying, that God is in it all even when it goes horribly wrong and He is still there wanting to comfort, give direction and love us through it all. He is there to show us so much in the lessons learned if we are open-hearted enough to see.
I cannot say I enjoyed these experiences of having my heart crushed, but I can say I don't regret it because of who I am today as a result of those experiences. I like me, I like who God is making me to be and I love that it's building a deeper, more intimate relationship between Him and me.
In short, it's all good!
No, I'm not harking back to the 60's Free Love movement, I'm talking about loving God's way.
I'm talking about Agape Love.
I know many of us are somewhat fearful of extending love, we've been hurt when we offered our love to others and were rejected.
But God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
Consider Jesus, He offered the ultimate love, was rejected more than us, to the death, and still He loves.
We give because of what we've been given, from God. If others cannot accept it, does this change who we are? Does it change God's opinion of us, His magnificent love for us? Does it change our personality, our giftedness, our knowledge or abilities? No, if you think about it, whether others respond to us favorably or walk away from our offers of love, it really makes no difference to the core of who we are.
We can live a life of living loved, loving lavishly out of that, refusing to be offended, realizing the others inability to receive is their issue not ours. Realizing we will have ample opportunity to be hurt because people are imperfect, well … it just gives us more opportunity to learn to forgive at another level, to the point where it becomes a lifestyle of freedom of offense, giving out love, touching the dry, parched lives that don't know God's amazing love.
I can't find the verse right now, but "they will know we are Christians by our Love" ( I know this is a 60's song, but I'm sure there's a verse too; found it > John 13:35 ) this is what I'm talking about. Let others see that we love deeply and freely, not holding ourselves back in fear of becoming rejected or being defensive when others treat us wrong.
Giving love to one who does not return it does not diminish us, I believe we become more like Jesus when we give without expectation.
It's a choice and I choose to love others (yes, still working on some people) and as God gives lavishly to me, I choose to give lavishly to others (yes, wisdom is involved with the opposite sex)
To go out each day determined to show love to all I encounter, to love freely, (as the book Captivating talks about, to offer my ‘beauty’ to others) to refuse offense, there is a great deal of freedom in this.
The Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive, so consider this, when we lavishly give love, we are sowing love, and the law of sowing and reaping declares what we sow (give) we shall reap (receive).
So if we sow lavish love, what shall we reap? Being lavishly loved in return. I could use some of that, how about you?
It’s a win / win situation. God is wonderful isn't He?