My husband is so smart. Beyond his years wise. I love listening to him preach and teach, and when he writes it never ceases to amaze me. Here's an article being featured in CCM magazine (this month?). This blog is dedicated to our adoption, so the only reason this makes the cut is because he talks about Gia. ;)
"What is Love? (Baby, don't hurt me..)"
Well, one thing is for sure... Love is definitely NOT the oh-so-popular SNL "Night at the Roxbury" piece. It's much more. But as silly as that Will Ferrel bit may be, some of our own views of love might be equally as silly.
Think about it. In the US, it's impossible to cognitively reflect on the day February 14 without seeing the color pink, smelling roses and thinking about the taste of those little candy hearts with (for the most part) lame statements on them. By the way, who really says the things those hearts say? If you're a DUDE reading this and you talk like that, c'mon down to Alabamer and lemme take you fishin' after we go four wheeler riding through the woods. (My attempt at trying to sound redneck.)
Don't read me wrong. I'm not one of those that wants to virtually ignore all 'secular' holidays. In fact, it is rather sad that even in our own faith, Valentine's Day is rather necessary because many of our own grown men within the Church are so pathetic at romanticizing their brides that this is the one REAL date of the year she will actually get, so God forbid my little voice robs her of that. And on that note, husbands, take this from a guy who's not remotely close to being the husband he wants to be, but nonetheless trying: Love. Your. Bride. Woo her. Tell her she's beautiful. Pray for her and over. Thank God daily for her. She ought to be the most precious and valuable asset of your existence outside of Jesus. And do me a favor while you're at it. Read (better yet, memorize) Ephesians 5:25-33 about ten times through and ask God to give you the grace to live that out for the rest of the days He gives you.
I do want to answer the question, though, because I think we can. "What is love?" Well, it is the greatest Cirque du Soleil Vegas show of all time, honoring my favorite band, The Beatles. While that's technically true, I'm really just making sure you're still paying attention. Read on.
Love is the story of the gospel. Love, in fact, IS the gospel. But not in a philosophical or metaphorical way, so that we can all get along and feel good about ourselves. Love is the fulfillment of God's plan to reconcile to Himself all things, so that He might display Himself in the very way that he chose to do so. That is, infinitely glorious. Holy. Set apart. God ordained and set into motion love through the hero of the story, Jesus. Jesus changed everything, and still today, is continually changing everything. He lived the life we could only dream to live, loved the way we could at best wish for, died a death we could never remotely imagine, and conquered Satan, sin and death by raising Himself from the grave three days after hanging on a tree. The cross is love.
I'm writing this piece around the time of something very special for me, and I pray that as the years go on I will understand this love I'm writing about all the more. You see, as I write these closing thoughts, it is actually my little girl's first birthday, and I haven't even held her once, but I love her to death. I have yet to even meet her, but I cherish her like there's no tomorrow. Confused? Well, our daughter still lives where she was born, in South Korea. Malerie and I, as two excited adoptive parents, are begging God to get us to her ASAP, but trusting that He knows best at this whole 'being in control' thing. And I think He's letting us learn love in a whole new way through this journey.
You can't convince me that we're able to have such deep love and affection for our baby outside of the love of Jesus. Adoption is God's idea in the first place. There can be an argument made that it is as close to the heart of God (or closer) as natural childbirth. After all, what does He call us, His most prized in creation? He calls us adopted. Adoption is first a vertical love that puts into motion a horizontal love, and we consider ourselves blessed to be called to answer the charge of James 1:27 in such a real and tangible way:
"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
While not of all us will be called to adopt, all of us as believers are indeed called to something ABOUT adoption. I challenge you to ask God how you are to be apart of the adoption world. It will bless your life.
So love this month. Love away. Love God. Love your spouse. Love your family and your friends and your neighbors. And love those little candy hearts. Just remember, you love Him because He first loved you.