A Conquering Love

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Love and Marriage
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I have nothing against the idea of love being all about hearts and flowers.  I mean, sugar and spice and everything nice seems to fit with the idea, at least from a greeting card perspective.  And if we are only talking about the concept of “being in love,” then sappy and sweet is appropriate.

The problem with all of that is that it’s not even close to being what love really is.  If love is only love when everyone is happy and smiling, then it isn’t love at all.  In fact, that idea of love equating to happiness is why so many people divorce soon after they fall “out of love” or one of them gets hurt by the other.

Author James Baldwin wrote, “Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.”  Before love can truly become love, it has to learn to give without needing to take, and it has to overcome some hurt and disappointment.

How does one measure love?  In terms of greatness, the standard may well be sacrifice.  Who has loved greatly?  Who do we esteem as having loved beyond the reasonable expectation of being loved in return?

Is it not the one who has sacrificed greatly?  Is it not a Mother Teresa, an Oscar Schindler, or even Jesus Christ?  Didn’t Jesus say that, “No man has greater love than he who lays his life down for his friends?”

I fear that far too many people allow their spouses to leave and divorce them without realizing that they can enter into that battle where love becomes an overcoming, conquering force that wins the day when all seems lost.  Too many people give up far too soon and then lament that they “still love” their spouse, but they can ‘t do anything about what has happened.

If love is nothing else, love is most definitely about doing something about any situation where someone has a need.  When that someone is your spouse, it’s time to rise up and be the warrior who will not rest until the battle is finished.  Marriages don’t fail because people are ok.  When a marriage fails, people are hurting, devastated, afraid, and often irrational.

If you’re the one who still wants the marriage, you can’t base your actions on what your spouse says or does.  You have to fight.  And it’s not him or her you’re fighting.  It’s those spiritual and emotional forces that are causing the pain and devastation that are the enemies of your relationship.

You have to set aside the role of the hurt victim and take on the role of the conquering rescuer.  You have to go to battle on behalf of your spouse, even if he or she is currently the source of your pain.  If you don’t, you will lose, and you will lose permanently.

When much of Europe was being over-run in WWI and WW2, The United States could have stayed away and left things alone.  We could have stayed home when genocides were taking place, dictators were crushing the people within their borders, and atrocities were being performed in remote corners of the world.  We could have allowed people to continue to suffer, but we chose to go and do something about it.

When my wife was gone and living her life in a way that was intended to cut me out of her future, I could have given up.  I could have made excuses.  I could have said all kinds of things about how she made her choice, I deserved better, she isn’t willing to work on the marriage, and on and on and on.  Instead, I chose to see her as she really was, and as I dare say almost every spouse who leaves is.  A hurt, frustrated, scared soul who never wanted to get to this point.

Seeing her that way allowed me to fight her demons rather than fighting her.  It allowed me to put myself aside and go rescue her.  She didn’t think she needed to be rescued, and she didn’t want to be rescued, but now she thanks me for coming to her rescue.  I’m not saying these things to build myself up or portray myself as a hero.  I’m saying them because I continually meet people who are separated or divorced and they don’t understand that if they want to save their marriage, this is what you do.

There is so much to say about just this one thing that I could probably write a book about it and perhaps I will.  For now, be encouraged and challenged.  If this stirs you, or if you know someone this may help, please consider sharing.  To talk privately, contact me at therestorationtour@gmail.com

 

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