Is this definition a good one?

   I recently saw this post on Instagram:

The best definition of love I heard:

Love is giving someone the power to destroy you and trusting they won’t use it.

The moment I read it, I edited it in my head to this:

The best definition of love I heard:

Love is giving someone the power to destroy you and knowing they will use it.

That’s what God did for us.

God knew before he created man and woman that they would use their freedom of choice to live independently of Him — their Creator. Each of us chooses to live independently from God in varying degrees every day from outright turning our backs to cutting corners in seemingly minor ways. The point is, God knew we were going to us our power to destroy our relationship with Him, yet He created us and loved us anyway. God knew when He set the world in motion that we would blow it, and that He would need to offer a way back to an intimate relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus. Since God is omniscient and eternal, He knew He was going to sacrifice His one and only Son for us when He uttered the words, “Let there be light.”

Marriage vows.

When I said the words, “I do,” on my wedding day, I knew my husband was going to use his power to destroy me in varying degrees and that I would do the same back. Yet both of us pledged our unconditional covenant love anyway, just like God did with us.

Brave love

Matthew 5:43-48: 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor i and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

To me, the bravest of all people aren’t the ones hoping something bad won’t happen or those who are establishing boundaries that prevent them from being hurt at all. The bravest people are those who choose to love without abandon knowing they will get hurt, and those that continue to love even if it becomes necessary to drastically change or end the relationship. I like these words I recently read in a book I recommend: God does not force us to do anything, including love our neighbor. Therefore, love is a choice, not a given. Love is an inconvenient choice, one that costs us time, resources, and at times our safety. (Subversive Witness, page 97)

I want to be brave.

I don’t want to hold back from loving people with gusto, even though I know the person will use their power to destroy me, either in little ways or extreme ways. The power to destroy ranges from disappointments and hurtful words to addiction and betrayal. When a child becomes an addict, the heart and wallet of a parent are destroyed. When a spouse has an affair, the ripple effects are catastrophic sin hurls its destructive shrapnel in all directions and wounds innocent bystanders. You and I may have to establish boundaries once a person hurts us. We may have to end the relationship. But I think our starting point should be offering love because it was God’s starting point when he created the earth.

What do you think?

Picture Explanation: Someone turned 20 and he is so easy to love!

Speaking of living our short life well: Our summer online study is underway! If you are interested in participating in an online One Gritty Blink Bible study this fall, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity.

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2024 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

4 Responses

  1. Hi, Friend. I like the nuance in this post. Loving someone doesn’t always mean we have to continue in a relationship with them. We can have boundaries while loving. Loving someone doesn’t mean that we need to accept their sin and be okay with it. Loving definitely involves sacrifice, and it is not easy. Only God can help us do that. Thanks for the challenge to love!

    1. Thanks. Jesus didn’t have relationships with everyone he met either, yet He loved us all. He had sharp words for people like the Pharisees, yet He died for them too. Thanks for seeing the nuance.

  2. I love that definition of Love!
    Love is giving someone the power to destroy you and knowing they will use it.

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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