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Sunday, June 23, 2013
If you didn't yet watch the video from my last post, do it now. Really, you'll be glad you did. Here's the link: True Love Video
This video touches me especially deeply, because my wife and I cared for my mom for seven years in our home as she relentlessly declined into the grip of Alzheimer's Disease. We eventually sat by her side in a nursing facility as she slipped into the arms of Jesus in 2008, free at last from the dreadful disease that robbed her of her speech, her dignity, her kind and gentle demeanor, and most of all the family whom she loved so dearly.
My wife and I know first hand the price the devoted husband in the video pays on a daily basis.
I recognize this love - this real, selfless and sacrificial love. I watched as my wife served my mom in many of these same ways, with the same kind of amazing love, a love that can only come from God. It was typically my wife who bore the brunt of my mom's delusional accusations and bizarre behavior, yet she often laid aside her hurt and frustration, at times not even telling me of the many hard things that happened while I was at work.
My wife will tell you she was no saint - that she often struggled with the invasion of her home by another (less than stable) woman. Yet she knew we had been called by the Lord to care for my mom. I watched my wife's willing obedience to that calling, her sacrifice of love, over years and years.
My dear wife genuinely loved my mother, even when she was really no longer the same person she had been. In truth, I know that my wife's willingness to obey the Lord's calling was also out of the deep love she has for me. Ultimately, though, it was her love for Jesus and the love of Jesus that allowed her to follow his voice in the journey with my mom.
You Carry the Love of Christ
Why do I tell you all this?
Throughout this True Love series, I've been telling you about how you should love your spouse like Jesus loves His bride. If you are like me, you probably find yourself reacting with both amazement and impossibility to the love of Christ. There's a definite, "that's fantastic!" followed shortly by "I could never love like that."
I've come to discover that loving my wife in the same way Jesus loves me is completely impossible to do in my own human strength. Fortunately, that's not what God asks of me. Because the living Christ dwells within us, the Holy Spirit empowers us to love way beyond our own abilities.
Both for the husband in the video, caring for his wife, and for my wife, as she cared or my mom, the source of their love was clearly God.
He is Love, after all. It's who He is. And we have that love in us because He is in us.
It can only be supernatural love that causes a husband to care for his wife way beyond simply meeting her physical needs - doing what she cannot do for herself. I love the image above, a frame taken from the video. Not only does this man have a custom bike made that allows them to continue to bike together, as they have all their marriage long, but he fastens a crown to her helmet. Look closely and you'll see it.
It's a statement to her - and a reminder to him - that she is still, and will always be, his "Princess."
Do you sometimes smack up against the hard reality that loving like Christ is an impossible task? Ask God to awaken your heart to the reality that this very love lies within you, and ask Him to help you live in that reality.
If you missed some of my True Love series, I've included the links below. You'll recognize many of these love characteristics from video:
- True Love Puts Relationship Ahead of Rules
- True Love Pursues Relentlessly
- True Love Doesn't Expect Something in Return
- True Love Serves
- True Love Redeems
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