Friday, February 12, 2010

Love and War

Since today's review is a book about marriage, I thought it was a terrific opportunity to share something Mia recently said to me that made me think long and hard.

Jesse, Mia, and I were goofing around, and I have a bit of an addiction to pens. I have to find just the right one; it has to be just the right weight and slide smoothly across the page. I'm not a total snob, my current fave is the Pilot EasyTouch. I tend to get a little cranky if someone borrows my pen and doesn't return it. So anyway, we're goofing around, and Jesse was teasing me by taking my pen, and I said, "Cut it out; I love that pen!"

Mia replied, as any first-grader would, "So why don't you marry it then?" My first thought was Wow, that phrase has been around forever. My second thought was that Mia had me dead to rights. It is so wrong for me to say that I "love" my pen or certain TV shows or my new shoes or most other things that I casually apply to that powerful word.

Love is so much more than having a warm feeling for, and I think that we are wasteful in how we use it. Paul's words about love from 1 Corinthians 13 are always being read at weddings, and I think sometimes that we've heard them so often that they've lost some of their power. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Read those words, then think of the last time you referred to loving something: your morning coffee, chocolate, your favorite outfit and try to apply the principles of love to that item. I don't know about you, but when I read those words that have no wiggle room, I feel convicted and ashamed of using the word "love" so flippantly.

I love God, my husband, my children, my parents and siblings, extended family and friends. I do my best to love my siblings in Christ, but no longer do I love my Pilot EasyTouch or my Skechers. I just like them a lot!

Words have power, and it never ceases to amaze me how God uses my little girl to completely humble me. I am not exaggerating when I say that I truly love how He loves me.

Love and War by John & Stasi Eldredge is a must read help for marriage from the authors of Wild at Heart and Captivating. The Eldredges use God's love for his people and Christ's marriage to the church as their guide for how successful marriage should work. It's too easy for each spouse to live only for themselves and fulfill the need to always be right, but that's why the divorce rate is so high in this country. They are emphatic in their belief that no marriage is a mistake; God has guided each one in order to shape us. That's a difficult concept for those who have been divorced, but they provide evidence through Scripture and anecdote. God has put couples together not only so they can work together, but more to shave off the rough edges, to make us better people. The book has some powerful advice and assignments for couples to work through their troubles. Love and War wasn't always an easy read; it will convict readers of hardheartedness, refusing to forgive, and bitterness, but the authors encourage readers to keep loving and praying through it. It will help troubled marriages and strengthen healthy ones. This book has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.

Thank you to Multnomah Books for providing me with a copy of this book for review.


P-Ponderings said...

Christy, your writing about how we use the word "love" so carelessly at times, was extremely eye-opening and convicting to myself also. Thank you.