Learning to Be Loved

 

I have found myself recently in one of those seasons of life with recurring lessons, where God seems to be showing me the same things in different lights. I had wanted to post this yesterday, on Valentine’s Day, because I think it is very fitting, but I am quite busy these days with some exciting things, and unfortunately, the little writer’s screams have been muffled and stuffed in the closet.

Poor writer.

Learning to be loved. It seems paradoxical in a sense, doesn’t it? Doesn’t being loved just happen? Isn’t it when I feel, in my core, that someone values me or holds me dear? Don’t I determine how I feel loved, and therefore when I am being loved?

There is validity to the fact that certain actions will feel loving to you, and others won’t. I’m sure you’ve heard of the {in}famous Five Love Languages*. Don’t we all love taking the test only to be surprised by what makes us feel loved? I love getting gifts? Who knew?!

But at the same time, I believe very strongly that we need to learn how to accept love even when it doesn’t measure by our metric.

We have heard many times over that love is a choice. We can choose to love our enemies, the friend who has betrayed us, or the husband who continually leaves the toilet seat up. So why isn’t receiving love also a choice?

I find offense to be one of the most common attitudes in society these days. Everyone is victimized or hurt by anything that is said or done remotely in relation to them. We humans can seem to become offended by anything.

But do we ever stop to think about why he said that? Or why she might have sent that note? Was it really in spite? Was it meant to offend or hurt?

I know that I personally have allowed myself to be offended by what was genuinely offered in love. And I have watched relationships start to unravel because what was said in love was heard in disdain.

I’m not suggesting that we carry about a naïve optimism and purpose to see everything as love when it is not in reality, but I would challenge you, friend, to think of the last time you were offended and to try to put yourself in the other’s shoes and think of why they may have said or written what they did. Is there any chance that they were trying to help you, because they love you? Is there any chance that they could be thinking of your best, and maybe even did the uncomfortable thing, because they love you?

Love is a choice. It is a choice to give and a choice to receive. Love is not always comfortable, but it is enduring. Love is not always a warm hug, but it is seeking the other’s good.

Love doesn’t always wear show up when or how we want it to, but sometimes it shows up just when we need it.

Will you receive the love being offered you today? Will you set down your pride and receive what is offered in love, even when it feels cruddy to you?

Will you receive the torn, bloody, body on the tree? Will you accept the truth spoken to you that there is nothing good in your heart, that there is no possible way for you to get to heaven? Will you receive a harsh, gory love from the good, good Father?

Choose to, friend. Choose to believe and receive love.

*Please don’t read too much criticism into this comment. I personally have not read the book. I do know the concept and I believe that there are some really good things to take away from it, and I think that without a grain of salt it can be a detriment to some relationships. That’s all I’ll say on it for now.  

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