Do you see love as a fairytale?

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How do you view love? Do you imagine a prince riding up on a white horse and saving you? It’s such a pretty picture but it’s also a fairytale.

Now I’m not against a good fairytale but it’s so important to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

It seems to me we are doing a great disservice in making marriage seem like one big fairytale. Somehow believing every day will be sunshine and roses. Have we become so enthralled in creating the perfect wedding we forget the marriage is where our focus needs to be?

So many of our youth are growing up thinking love is just a feeling. That it comes and goes as easily as changing a hairstyle. Our throw-away society has trickled down into our marriages and families.

Love is a choice. Love is an action.

Love with actions

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18 (NLT)

Even in those moments where we’re not “feeling” it doesn’t mean love isn’t there. It means we have to hang on to what is true and not just an emotion.

How is it possible for our weak human flesh to ever love the way God intended? It’s only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

love because he loved us

We love each other because He loved us first. 1 John 4:19

We need to grab hold of how deeply God loves us first so we can then turn around and love deeply as well. I find the best way to do this is to thank God daily for how much He loves me. It’s amazing what an attitude of gratitude will do to shift our thinking.

Matthew Henry’s commentary says it like this – “The divine love stamped love upon our souls; may the Lord still and further direct our hearts into the love of God!”

What is love?

Love is patient and kind.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, easier said than done. I agree! Patience doesn’t come naturally for me and as such kindness can go out the window with it. But, God clearly says this is exactly what love is. So when I’m feeling my fuse getting short I whisper a quick prayer to God. It’s rarely fancy – just an honest plea to help me show patience and kindness even if I’m not feeling it.

Love isn’t rude, arrogant or insists on it’s own way.

Do you have the need to always be right in a disagreement? Some things are worth standing up for, no doubt. My grandma told me early in my marriage, “If it won’t matter in 5 years, let it go. If it will hash it out.” But we can do it without being rude or arrogant. I believe when we always keep love in the front seat of our marriages we can look at both sides through the lens of love.

Love is not irritable or resentful.

How many of us would raise our hands if asked if we’ve ever held a grudge against someone we love? Right there with you. In the past I struggled so much with this and could be very resentful over every offense. So hard on a marriage! It’s so important to ask God for help in releasing past offenses and letting go of irritability and resentment.

Love rejoices with truth!

Love takes no pleasure in hurting others. So often when we’re hurt by those we love, even if inadvertently, our natural reaction is to hurt back. It’s only fair right? Wounding those we love as a way of revenge only perpetuates the cycle. At some point we must choose to stop it. Love delights in the well being of others!

 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Our marriages are worth fighting for. Our families are worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting for!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

 

Empty Nest Part 1

That time God asked me to …
                                               Put down the idol of motherhood.
 

Maybe I missed all the discussions about empty nest before I headed into this new territory. Or could it be we simply don’t discuss it very much?

Since venturing into these new waters I’ve asked for advice but most people either just tell me to be happy about it or keep busy so I don’t have to deal with it.


Can I be real honest for a minute? I did NOT handle it real well in the beginning. My life had been filled with so many of my kids’ sports and events I felt completely isolated when it all came to end. Continue reading “Empty Nest Part 1”

Step out of the Comfort Zone!



Sheep need sheep.


They’re designed as a herd animal. Isolation literally causes them to panic and eventually shut down.


Maybe I’ve been spending a little too much time with sheep, but there is a ton of information we can learn about ourselves and our walk with the Lord by observing sheep.


Sheep are a prey animal and as such are wired to be quite fearful. It’s self-preservation.


It can also make it downright challenging to get them to come out of their comfort zone.


Is it any wonder in scripture we are so often referred to as sheep?


Know that the Lord, He is God! It is he who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3 (ESV)


We love our comfort zone. We want to be right in the middle of our own “flock” where it feels safe and people already know and love us.


I was recently invited to a Writer’s Retreat only a couple of hours away from where I live. There wasn’t going to be a soul there who I’d met in person yet.


It would have been easy for me to go and keep myself isolated. I have close friends at home, my family and my church. This could just be a quiet, solitary weekend away to write, right?


God had other plans.


Not only were there amazing women of God there but they pulled me right in. We jumped right out of that comfort zone and headed for the deep water.


There was no chance to feel panic or shut down due to fear. God was showing me how quickly He can orchestrate deep bonds between fellow believers.


It might not feel safe outside the tight knit group of those we already know but if God is calling you to go, He will go before you. When we follow God out of our comfort zone and invest in relationships we discover another level of fellowship.


Following Jesus into the deep is where our faith becomes stronger.


Be brave. Step out into the deep end of relationships.


Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

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I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Is it Time to be Still or Move?

The word of God is active and alive. I love how I can read a scripture or passage that I’ve read hundreds of times in the past and God can bring a fresh revelation to me.


God’s redeeming power is on full display in the story of the Israelites being delivered from the Egyptians. God told Moses to inform the people that He was going to rescue and redeem them. In other words, get ready people, God is on the move!


Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the Lord!’” Exodus 6:6-8 (NLT)

Unfortunately, they weren’t overly receptive to what Moses had to say. Their own daily grind and hardships had them utterly discouraged. Yet God was well aware of His covenant He had made with Abraham and remained faithful. His people were freed by God’s grace!


Shortly thereafter however they found themselves walled in again as they camped at the Red Sea. Pharaoh was in hot pursuit and all that freedom was starting to feel pretty scary! Fresh off huge miracles from God and they still forgot WHO was in control.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve been right in that same camp. God has set me free from my past and yet I’ve been all too quick to panic when that freedom was being threatened by the enemy hunting me down.


But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Exodus 14:13-15 (NLT)

Yes, God calls us to be still and calm in the midst of chaos. We need to seek Him and trust Him to rescue us. BUT… He also tells us when it’s time move!


When we cry out to God for direction and His still small voice gives us just that; we need to put some distance between us and what God has called us out of! Stay calm but move.

When we’ve been redeemed and set free from whatever has been enslaving us we need to move forward. Many times this means we must distance ourselves from the sinful activities that held us so deeply. Those “egyptians” in our own life never to be seen again.


There may come a time when that includes walking away from relationships that are toxic. We can forgive and move forward but many times that can mean putting some safe distance between us and the relationship. This can be people, activities, idols or even seemingly “good things” that have us running back to slavery.


The Israelites didn’t set up permanent residence right next to the Egyptians. They moved on to the land God promised them. There were many bumps along the road still but they moved forward.

Is God calling you to set up some safety margins in your own life? Ask Him. He knows when it’s best for you to be still and when it’s time to move.

Are You Drinking the Poison of Unforgiveness?

Do you have relationships in your life that are fractured? There might be tension, hard feelings or maybe even complete separation at this point.

Relationships can be tough. We’re human and we tend to bump into one another along our journey together.


Past hurts rear their ugly heads and the enemy tries to keep us stirred up over them as he doesn’t want there to be unity and peace amongst us. If he can keep us from forgiving others, he can get a foothold into our lives.


And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. ” Mark 11:25 (NIV)
Holding unforgiveness in our hearts is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The one we’re doing the most damage to with our unforgiveness is ourselves.
Hurting people often hurt other people. The baggage we carry from our own past hurts can cause us to struggle in our relationships. God’s love sets us free to love others and forgive. We can’t love with the deep kind of love God calls us to on our own, only with His help.



I’ve had some relationships that I’ve really struggled with in the past. Mistakes on both sides of the fence that festered and grew into more tension then I wanted to deal with honestly. I’ve been guilty of walking away from hard relationships in the past.


When I looked at them honestly however and sought God’s counsel I learned a lot from pressing into the hard places.


We’re all designed for fight or flight and it always seemed odd to me that I had so much of both. I would fight tooth and nail for something I thought I could “win” but if there was any doubt about it I was all flight. That makes unity in a relationship pretty difficult!


God wants us to stand firm against the devil and not allow him free reign in our relationships though. God calls us to always be humble and gentle, patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)


As we set about trying to repair relationships that are broken and may even feel lost, we need to seek God first. Run to Him in prayer and ask for His forgiveness for any part we may have had in the wrongs done. Then ask for His help in forgiving anyone who has wronged us.


Relationships can be redeemed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Turn loose of old resentments and ask God to renew your mind and instill a fresh love into your relationships.


Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9


I’m praying for restoration for you friends!