I was supposed to post what I'm learning today, but I guess God waited till the very last hour of today to really hit me with the lesson.
I just shared at Exemplify today about something Jesus said that has been weighing heavy on me. He said,
"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
But he who endures to the end shall be saved." Matt.24:12-13
Just now, after sobbing my way through the movie Fireproof (which I have not seen before tonight) I realized my love has been growing cold for my husband. And it very well may be because "lawlessness" (the refusal to feed on or take as a prescription God's word) abounds in him. Nevertheless I'm the one called to endure to the end LOVING whether the lawlessness abounds or not.
In the movie, Kirk Cameron's screen dad gives him a 40 day Love Dare. After surrendering his life to Christ midway through the 40 days, and enduring the rejection of his wife through the 40 days, and even when it was past, Cameron was finally able to win his screen wife back.
When the movie was over I sobbed to my Lord, "My 40 day Love Dare has lasted 4 years!" My heart was so touched by Christ in that moment. The scripture that flashed on the screen as the movie ended was Romans 5:8,
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
That was the verse God used to fill me with His love for my husband when he was filing for a divorce 4 years ago and I was delivering our second son.
I remember a family member calling to tell me her "concerns" after having heard a rumor about what my husband was out doing while we were just beginning our separation. I was overflowing with something I'd never had for a person before... agape love. I remember defending my husband, who was OBVIOUSLY not very defendable at the time. I remember saying something like, "You know, Christ died for him! He died for all of us while we were still sinners! If He can forgive him, I'm not going to hold it against him!"
My concerned loved one was angry with me and thought I'd lost it. She was right in a sense, I had lost it. I'd lost all my selfish grip and judgement and all I could see was the cross. I couldn't get passed the cross. I couldn't look at the cross and then look at my husband and hold his sin against him. Christ's dare to love me was enabling me to dare to love my husband even while he was rejecting me.
But 4 years have come and gone since then. And because the "love dare" continues without the repsonse from my husband I was hoping for, I've been tempted to give up, or grow cold in my vulnerable love towards him.
After watching Fireproof tonight my heart was rekindled. I saw the cross again and I saw what He wills to do in and through me towards my husband.
I saw Him willing to wait.
I saw Him deserving of my on-fire love towards my husband whether I got a response or not.
I saw Him, arms outstretched wide, crying, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!" without any promise that we'd turn to Him.
If your tempted to let your love grow cold towards your spouse or towards anyone in your life, maybe like me you need to take a good look at the cross again.
Maybe like me tonight you need to confess that you're growing skeptical and hard.
Maybe like me tonight you need to write your husband a note and leave it on the table.
Maybe like me, the Lord would bring to mind a time in the past when your husband as said something like mine said to me 4 years ago, "I just want to be appreciated Sheila!"
But even if he's never said something like that. Even if he's never done anything that shows you any kind of desire or openness towards your love, Christ HAS! He showed us He loved us by dying for us while we were still rejecting Him!
Oh Father help us! Help us as wives today! Please, give us tender hearts in exchange for the ones that have grown cold and hard. Show us, remind us, how much You've loved us so that we can stretch out our arms wide and be willing to endure to the end with a tender, warm, passionate, vulnerable, love- even if we get no response from our husbands! Help us to entrust our hearts to You! I know Father that the best hope I have of winning my husband is in letting Your sacrificial love be seen in me. Please let it be Lord! Take my life, take it and LOVE through me Love of God! Love through me!!
Redeeming the time