"Walking Her Home" by Mark Schultz is such a great song. It is a love story from beginning to end. When I heard it this morning it got me thinking about love and relationships.
As a 30 year old woman I have experienced so many different types of love ~ love for a mother and father, love for a sister, love for a best friend, love for dogs, love for extended family, love for a young man who I knew would be my husband, love for countless friends and spiritual mentors, love for complete strangers and love for the children God has blessed me with (both mine and others in my life).
My absolute favorite verse is: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13
In the past 30 years I have learned that God gives us the ability to love (through relationships) so that we can better understand Him and what our relationship with Him should be like. It has taken me a long, long, long (did I say long?) time to really understand that God loves me so much more than I can imagine.
I come from an extremely close family. I have an unbreakable bond with my parents and my sister. I truly don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to my parents or sister. I have been married for ten years and I trust my husband with my life and my whole heart. We have gone through so many trying times but it is through those times that I have learned to fight for, treasure, sustain and hold dear the importance of the love I have for my husband and he for me. Being a mother is completely and totally unexplainable. My kids are a part of me and always will be. I would sacrifice my life for theirs without hesitation. I would sacrifice again and again so that they would never go without.
To think that God loves me more than I love these people used to be unfathomable to me. But it's as if a light bulb went off one day and I realized that He gave me these people. He gave me these relationships. He entrusted me with His children (HIS, not mine). He gives us this gift that we call love and while it may be completely undeserving it is real. It is alive. It is never ending. It is never failing.
We are to love others like He loves us.
We are to love ourselves like He loves us.
Most importantly, we are to love Him like He loves us.
The bible says this (and so much more) about love.
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." ~1 Peter 4:8
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us." ~1 John 4:18-19 (My sister shared this verse in her post from earlier this week.)
"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." ~Colossians 3:14
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." ~John 3:16