Sunday, November 16, 2008

Love Dare Day 22--Love Is Faithful



LOVE IS FAITHFUL

I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, then you will know the Lord.....Hosea 2:30

and the dare for this day:

Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if your children seemed to have lost interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similar to these,

"I LOVE YOU. PERIOD. I CHOOSE TO LOVE YOU EVEN IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME IN RETURN."


Chapter 22 in the "Love Dare" book refers to the story of Hosea. Hosea was instructed by God to marry, Gomer, a prostitute. What was God's reasoning in this, we may wonder?

He wanted to show what HIS unconditional love really looks like.

Hosea did marry Gomer and they had 3 children. Did Gomer love Hosea in return for his love and faithfulness to her? Sadly, she did not. She returned to her life of immorality, showing her discontentment in being faithful to one man.

God then instructed Hosea to go and reaffirm his love for Gomer--a woman who had been repeatedly unfaithful to him. He actually had to go to the slave block, buy her and bring her home.

She had treated him poorly--with contempt and traitorous actions--but Hosea welcomed her back with unconditional love.

God is always faithful to us, even when we turn our faces from Him. He gave us the greatest gift of all, His only Son so we may eternal salvation, and yet we still reject Him sometimes.

And so I as I reflect on this story of Hosea, God's faithfulness to me, and also Jesus' great commandments:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your strength, your mind, and your neighbor as yourself"......Luke 10:27

and then add in the dare of love being a choice, I realize that I have not always made that choice--not in my own everyday life in response to others, not always in response to my children, and not always in my response to God.

Yes, I have made wrong choices. We all have. I have faced the rejection of my love to others in my family, my former marriage, and even my children.

I still love them--I always will. But, there are times when hurtful words are said in anger, by all parties concerned. There are times when I don't feel the returned love of my children, sometimes feel taken advantage of by them.

Here is the catch 22 in this--they feel the same way.

With the love of Christ in my heart, my mind, my soul, my strength--I make the choice to love my children, even when they are being hurtful, demanding or just otherwise unloving towards me.

I am going to continue to show them the love of Jesus through my words and actions towards them. This is a choice that I have made.

In the past, when things have not gone well between any of my children and myself, I have had a tendency to withdraw from them--to shut them out.

Today, I choose to stop that harmful behavior and focus on Jesus--always on Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I know that by following the example that He has set for me--His own faithful and unconditional love for me--to the point of death, that I cannot go wrong in this.

I will not shut myself away from children any longer. I choose to love them every moment of every day--even if it seems they are not returning that love to me.


DAY 23

Love Always Protects.....1 Corinthians 13:7

and the dare for this day:

Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that is stealing your affections and turning your heart from your children.

Please stop by and visit Chelle' for comments from all the participants in this "Love Dare".

Beth



4 comments:

Denise said...

I am praying for you, and your children.

Rachel said...

A wonderful, honest post . . .

1 Thessalonians 3:12 "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you" . . . this is my prayer for you and your children.

It is often one I speak for myself as I am all too aware of the lack in the love I give. But I know if I trust in His love not mine, His love will flow through me.

Smiles,

Rachel

Peggy said...

Blessings Beth...What an exceptional job of showing how you can still do the Love Dare though it is difficult. But since Love is the basis of whole identity in Christ...you certainly applied this to all relationships. I could have learned a lot from this in my marriage and my relationship with my adult children that just as when I adopted them, it was a choice
...to love them...not a feeling. Even now, when they don't love in return & it feels like you're being used...I must choose to love! WOW!
What a great insight & application!
This is so true that I should do even if they aren't aware of my love, I can pour out my love for them in prayer & ask Jesus to love them for me!

So Love Dare C22 was focused on Hosea and a lesson on faithfulness but you turned this around well..I knew you could! You certainly need to understand that Hosea remained steadfast & faithful just as we must with our kids even when they stray, or like you say, don't return the love(just like Gomer)
This so applies to me adopting someone else's kids and their returning to the ways of their biological parents in oh so many ways...showing their discontent and what seems like ingratitude to us for having taken them out of that life and they follow their birth tendencies, not what they were taught or shown.

I love your open honesty. Yes, we certainly ALL have made wrong choices and have lived to see the consequences. I have learned so much from YOU doing the Love Dare.

You think everyone deals with rejection either from their own family or their spouse? Did your kids tell you that they feel the same like they're being used? I never thought of that!

I'm just so thankful that Our Lord loves me faithfully! No more withdrawing...face them in love! You certainly are daring to LOVE!

Don't you get tired of these email answers! I'll try to be more like Denise and Rachel!

Dorothy Champagne said...

What a great example to use Hosea. I have a hard time with that one. But it certainly goes to his call to follow Christ. Sticking with someone like that because God said to, and to love her all the same. That's commitment. A commitment that Christ calls all of us to have. Good reminder. Thanks!