I have been thinking about what it means to love someone. Not the kind of love that evokes eros, but the kind of love that is steadfast when passion or remuneration is not a part of the equation. The kind of love that holds true when betrayed and humiliated and denied, lied and trod on without any remorse on the part of those who would profess their unwavering affection. The kind of love that holds strong when wronged and no apology is forthcoming. How do you love when your love is not returned in a way that encourages you or is kind or makes you feel cherished? And, you feel mistreated and know without a doubt (you think) that you are the one in the right and that other person (him/her) totally and absolutely not right! How do you love?
I have been pondering this question as my spouse and I are engaged in one of our marital spats and are at odds with each other. In addition, Easter approaches and with it, an example of love so extreme it is otherworldly.
My question then becomes, can I love like Christ?
The example before us is clear.
- Jesus loved when imprisoned unjustly.
- Jesus loved when his friends denied him.
- Jesus loved even as Judas kissed him.
- Jesus loved when he was beaten and marched to Calvary with a cross on his back.
- Jesus loved when he was stabbed in the side and a crown of thrones pressed down upon his head.
- Jesus loved when after feeding and healing people, they still cried, crucify him!
- Jesus loved when they spit on him and called him names.
- Jesus loved when they mocked his good name and jeered, come down if you can King of the Jews.
- Jesus loved as he died in our stead knowing that his gift would not be appreciated by those he was saving.
- Jesus loved as he rose from the grave and didn’t rise to annihilate those who hung him to die, but to declare that there was a place in his Fathers kingdom for those who believed.
- Jesus endured nail after nail after nail being hammered into his tender flesh and still he loved.
Jesus was magnanimous in his forgiving and his love.
So, how do we love when we aren’t feeling it?
Boomer wisdom wants to encourage you to pattern your love after Jesus’ example on the cross. For when he was not shown love, he loved anyway.
Forgive and forgive again. Then extend sacrificial love. Even when it hurts.