Note from Erin: We are so excited to have a post from another Melissa! Melissa Fancher has been a friend of mine since Junior High and I have always admired her transparency and honest outlook. I really enjoyed this post from her about love and how truly receiving God’s love enables us to love others. Happy Valentine’s Day!
“If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-8a
There is a lot of “love” in the world today that isn’t True Love. A lot of people, myself included, have believed that Love is a feeling. A mushy-gushy emotion that makes your heart flutter and your breath catch. But True Love is so much more than that.
When I am confronted with True Love, I am convicted, encouraged, amazed and most of all, grateful. I serve and love a God Who is Love and created me in His image so I can experience True Love. Not only that, but I can give and share Love as well. I know we have all heard the above verses before, but they have been the focus of several Bible studies at church and my own personal studies lately, and I am seeing them in a new light.
The first thing that strikes me is that I can do and have almost anything good and right in this world and yet, if I don’t have Love or my heart isn’t acting out of the Love that I’ve been given, it means nothing. (Vs 1-3) I could be Mother Teresa and do all the wonderful things that she accomplished, but it would all be in vain if I did it without Love. There would be no fruit from my actions.
God is True Love, and where it is, He is. He always has every situation in His hands, but when I bring this true Love into the mix I am inviting the Holy God to move in a powerful way. I am acting in His Image. In order to act in Love and to let His Love change my heart and mind to be in one accord with Him, I have to know what this true Love is. And I think that scripture leaves no mistake about what Love is.
Love is PATIENT.
Love is KIND.
Love does NOT ENVY.
Love is NOT BOASTFUL.
Love is NOT CONCEITED.
Love does NOT ACT IMPROPERLY.
Love is NOT SELFISH.
Love is NOT PROVOKED.
Love does NOT KEEP RECORDS OF WRONGS.
Love FINDS NO JOY IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
Love REJOICES IN THE TRUTH.
Love BEARS ALL THINGS.
Love BELIEVES ALL THINGS.
Love HOPES ALL THINGS.
Love ENDURES ALL THINGS.
Love NEVER ENDS.
What Love really is blows my mind. Who God is in light of that blows my mind. And I’m so grateful I know Him.
For the longest time I thought I couldn’t experience God’s Love for me … not really. Not like I could experience my husband’s or my family’s Love for me. But the more I learn of His Love and what His Love means for me, the more I experience it. And it is different from my husband’s love or my family’s: its deeper. It’s become a part of my soul, and my very being.
Everything I see is seen through the lens of Love, especially my own actions. Now, I can look at my actions and see if I am acting in Love or in selfishness. Selfishness puts me above everything and everyone else. I can’t be patient or kind if I am being selfish because selfishness means that I want what I want and I want it now. It means that if I don’t get what I want then I’m going to throw a fit. I’ve had too many arguments with my husband because I was being selfish and not acting in Love.
Not only has this revelation about Love transformed my mind and heart, but it also has transformed my marriage. Before, I had such a me problem. It was all about me and I didn’t even see it. I was hurting my husband so much because I wasn’t really loving him. He, however was loving me. He was patient and kind, and many of the other things listed in those verses. And it stuck with me.
For the longest time I was guilty and depressed because I thought that I was just broken and incapable of really loving my husband like he deserved, and like I wanted to love him. But through my husband’s Love and God’s unfailing Love, God has renewed my mind and heart. I still struggle with selfishness and being unloving, but now I at least can see where my heart has a problem. Instead of being self-destructive, I can seek forgiveness and a clean slate. It’s hard to die to myself every day, but it is the ultimate act of Love and devotion to God and my husband and family.
There’s so much more I could say about what God has taught me and is teaching me as I meditate and grow in His Word and this life He’s given me. I hope you have been encouraged by what God has taught me, but more importantly, I hope and pray that you are encouraged by God’s great Love for you and what He wants to do in your heart and mind as you grow in His Love.
God, grow us all — my husband, myself and all the readers of Rediscovered, in True Love.