Archives for posts with tag: love

Obedience doesn’t have to be hard. Obedience is only hard if you look at it as a list of things you “can’t” do. But God tells us our obedience is a display of our love for Him. Not a demonstration of how well we can follow rules. And especially not a demonstration of us figuring out how close we can get to breaking the rule without actually breaking it (hello, somebody). What if we looked at obedience as God does. As love. What if we looked at it not as a list of “I Can’ts” but a list of “I can’s.”

I can’t have sex because I’m not married. I love God so much that I can totally remain pure and honor Him with my body (I mean it’s His body anyway, right?). Or how about, I can totally appreciate the security that purity brings (no STDs, no babies, no emotional attachments, no $800 daycare bills I have to pay on my own, no child support, etc.).

I can’t drink. I can definitely have a good time and enjoy myself without needing liquor. I mean, who needs liquor to have a good time??

I can’t listen to rap music (because we only listen for the beats these days…). I can totally protect what comes into my spirit, soul, and body. And for those of you who keep talking about, it’s the beat- let me introduce you to Lecrae, Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, etc.

I can’t take credit for the things that are happening in my life. I can give God all the glory for this amazing life He has given me. I can lead others to Him. I can continue to be a vessel (the buck does NOT stop with me!)

I can’t stay at home on Sundays and just hang out, have brunch, or just watch church online. I can show God how much I love Him by visiting Him in His house with His followers and get His message on Sundays. I mean, after all, he comes to my house every other day of the week- I’d love to pay him a visit!

I can’t go around cursing. Ok say this with me slowly. Out loud if you must: I can form complete sentences and make my point as emphatically as I choose without needing to use words that offend, hurt, or would elicit a beat down if I heard my 5 year old child saying them. I can use words that lift up God though! Ex: What in the Eden is going on here?!

Does that work? When you love someone should it feel like a chore? Should it feel restrictive? Absolutely not. It should feel liberating. It should overwhelming. In a good way. It should feel like you would do absolutely anything to make that other person happy.  Why in the world would we treat God any differently? If you can’t love God it’s gonna be difficult for you to love an imperfect person (including yourself).

Speak on it! What else can we do?

At first thought, it’s like well, sir, your marriage didn’t work. Why would I take marriage advice from you? But then you think about it some more and realize, hindsight is 20/20. It’s so much easier to look back and explain as opposed to making sense of the mess that you’re currently in. That said, this is some amazing advice from a divorcé after 16 years of marriage. Wow. Like, some bookmark, print it out and laminate it, read it once a month type advice. Head on over to the Love Story from a Male Perspective Blog to read “Beautiful Advice from a Divorced Man After 16 Years of Marriage.

Some of my favorite pieces of advice that he gives are that “It’s not your job to change or fix her” and to “Fill her soul every day” while topping it all off with the ultimate challenge: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER.

And although he’s addressed it to husbands, there were parts where he was talking directly to me. As if he were all up in my business, tapping my phones, spying on my thoughts. Sigh. I hear ya…

All of that to say, heck yeah I’d take marriage advice from a divorcé – or at least this one anyway. So go ahead and see why; click here to read the rest.

Image from the Original Post – go on over there!

I read Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Live Under Christ’s Control a few weeks ago. It was right on time. Although it started out rather slow, the middle and end of the book were meaty with revelations about what it means to live for God as a single who thinks they’ve been called for marriage. (But it’s ironic that Elisabeth Elliot just knew she was called to be a missionary – which at that time meant a life of singleness.) Many people often get confused with the title of this book and assume she’s talking about a sexual passion. But that’s all wrong. It’s definitely the passion that you have for Christ. One of my (many) favorite* passages from her story:

A settled commitment to the Lord Christ and a longed-for commitment to Jim Elliot [her suitor] seemed to be in conflict. Discipleship usually brings us into the necessity of choice between duty and desire. They are not always mutually exclusive, however.

And the fact that they are not always mutually exclusive is truly a gift from God. It may be a struggle but struggles for Christ’s sake are never in vain. And I’m glad about it.

The concept of story has been showing its face lately. And how people share their stories as a way to be a blessing to other people. Elisabeth Elliot probably had no idea that God was going to use her story in such tremendous ways and help so many single people begin to bring their love lives under the control of Christ. Trey Erwin, the young boy who recently passed from pancreatic cancer probably had no idea how many lives he would touch just by sharing his story and his faith. Dr. Parker (and his wife) share intimate details of their marriage, Priscilla Shirer, lets us into her life, and so many more people really just bare their souls just so that they can win others to a life of discipleship. A really good friend from college shared her testimony to a group of young adults (and to me) and I was practically in tears realizing how much God had his hand on her life. It’s inspiring. And it makes me realize I shouldn’t be ashamed of some of the secrets I have in my past. Because they’re in my past and I’ve overcome them and been washed by His blood and forgiven. And the story that I have is one that can help others. God is so very good and I desire nothing more than to let Him use me and my life for his purpose.

(On another note, I like how God speaks to me about certain things. I never noticed it before but I think I’m beginning to be able to discern the voice of God clearly. First, I was constantly surrounded by commentary on the concept of fear – and eliminating it. Then there was this concept of purpose. And now it’s just letting God use me and telling my story. I love that guy!)

*My favorite passages are usually the ones that ring true to me at any given point in my life, that convict me and make me raise my hand to God while I’m reading on the metro or let out a soft “my God” – not necessarily the ones that are the most beautifully written or that speak to hope. Yes the truth does hurt but it also sets you free – word to John 8:32.