I’ve been sick for the last few days. At first, I thought it was a cold, and then I jumped to the Coronavirus, and finally I landed on rabies (from my cat bite). However, I seem to have turned the corner, so maybe I overreacted a little. One sweet thing came out of my bout with sickness. Love.
That’s right. I felt loved and cared for by my sweet husband. He checked on me, offered to bring me sustenance, and even worked from home one day. Despite his aversion to being super close to me in my sick state, he demonstrated love to me.
For the longest time, I didn’t know how to accept love from others. They would profess it, and I would not believe them. But gradually, through years and lots of counseling, I’ve worked through many of my issues, and do you know what I found? I discovered that I needed to speak up more.
I needed to let the other person know when I wasn’t happy or when they hurt me. If they loved me, then they really needed to know if they were hurting me. It’s not really rocket science. It’s just being honest.
But for me, it was scary. It was also necessary. Honesty works, and as I shared my unhappiness, I found caring, concern, and love. Sometimes it didn’t happen immediately, but usually three or four conversations in, we would get around to confirming love and coming to an agreement. And if it didn’t happen. If the other person didn’t care, well … then I knew something too.
This stuff doesn’t just apply to your significant other either. It flows into all our relationships. If you love one another, then you must be honest. I’m not talking about telling them you hate their haircut. I’m talking about you – your heart, your feelings. You matter, and you’re really the only person who can share that stuff.
It’s not easy to do. Believe me. I know. But the reward is huge.
And if you’re on the receiving side of someone’s honesty, then stop for just a moment. You are standing on hallowed ground. When someone reveals their true heart to you, you better do whatever you can to respect them, protect them, and show them love. It’s not a time for judgment or correction. It’s a time for love. And often times, you get one chance to receive that stuff, so be careful. Tread lightly, love well, and be honest.
It goes both ways. That’s another wonderful part of love. You can be completely you, and I can be completely me, and we can work things out from there.
It’s the glorious uncovering of our real selves, and from this, we can catch a glimpse of how completely God loves us.
As I write this, my sweet husband is starting to cough. Oh dear. Germs are never good to share. Be honest. Love well but do try to keep your germs to yourself!
How about you? What are some things you’ve learned about love through the years? How would you complete this sentence: Love is ________________.