Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Little Tim is experiencing feelings he has never experienced in his life.  He has fallen in love for the first time.  The air has a sweet aroma and the colors all have a deeper hue. Then one day his world collapses.  She asks one of her girlfriends to tell Tim that she wants to break up with him.  In that moment the sun is covered by a blue moon and he has the classic song calls a total eclipse of the heart.  Mom, trying to console him says, “Don’t worry, Tim, there are plenty of fish in the sea.  Get back out there and find another girlfriend.”  And so it begins.

The second way conventional wisdom says deal with your grief is to “replace your loss” while the Bible encourages us to first accept the reality of our situation.

When we try to replace our loss, what we’re really doing is trying to erase the memory of whatever was lost. A prime example of this is when someone goes through divorce and then turns around and too quickly remarries. The problem is that they’ve never really dealt with the pain and so they are hobbling into another relationship.

Coming to terms with the reality of loss is huge in recovering from pain. How can you be healed unless you know where it hurts?

King David was a great king, but at one point committed adultery with Bathsheba. She became pregnant, but because of David’s sin the baby died (A side note here: There is always death associated with sin. Romans 6:23) And so for seven days, David expressed his pain in loud wailings and moaning.

Then on the seventh day the baby died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He was so broken up about the baby being sick,” they said. “What will he do to himself when we tell him the child is dead?” But when David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the baby dead?” he asked.”Yes,” they replied. Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and ate. His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the baby was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the baby is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.” David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again?” 2 Samuel 12:18-23 [NLT]

David expressed his pain, but, then he accepted the reality.

Question – If you’ve suffered a major loss, have you tried to get a grip on the reality of it, to stare it right in the face and say, “this is the deal?” Or are you trying to just “get over it” or “get on with life?” It’s not that simple. It doesn’t work that way.


Posted: October 12, 2010 in Love, Marriage, Parenting
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Last night I watched a program I had recorded with my DVR.  The program is called NO ORDINARY FAMILY.  The truth is, this family was all too ordinary until one day they discovered they had contracted extraordinary powers following a pond crash of the airplane on which they were passengers.  The mom in the story is very career centered but deeply regrets sacrificing her family.  She finds the solution in the “super powers” she receives.  Her super power is speed.  She can move super fast, pretty much faster than a speeding bullet.  She now has the ability to bring home the bacon and fry it too!  I think that NO ORDINARY FAMILY may find an audience because there are so many people today who might be able to pull life off if they just had super powers. 

So many people are asking the question, “How do I make more time for the people I love in my life?”  I think the problem is that we really can’t make time.  Each of us has the same amount of time each day.  So it’s not about making more time it is about prioritizing the time we have.    How do you find more time for the people who love you and that you need to love? 

Let me give you one suggestion: turn off the TV and the computer.  Recent studies show that the average American sits in front of the television or video screen – the TV screen or the computer screen – working or playing, six hours a day.  Average.  Six hours a day at five days a week, let’s say you didn’t do it on Saturday and Sunday but of course you do that too.  That’s thirty hours a week.  Thirty hours a week for a year is one thousand five hundred and sixty hours in front of a screen.  Let me put that into perspective.  That is ninety-seven straight days of sixteen hours a day in front of a screen. 

We wonder why we don’t have time for relationships.  It always amazed me that people will go watch reruns of Friends instead of making friends. We spend more time watching Big Brother than being one.  We will watch a reality show about somebody else’s family instead of working on the reality of our own family.  We will spend hours watching the show Survivor while our families aren’t.

The Bible says in 1 Cor. 13:3 (MSG) “No matter what I say or what I do or what I believe I’m bankrupt without love.”  The Bible says that God wants you to use your 168 hours a week in building and strengthening your relationships.  The truth is most people today are in time-starved relationships.  You are in time-starved relationships!  Why is it that we spend the least amount of time with those we love the most?  Tell me the logic of that one. 

THOUGHT QUESTION:  How can you rearrange your schedule this week so that you can spend more time loving God and loving your family?

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God did not put you on earth just so you could be a self-centered clod.  In fact the Bible teaches that one day we will be evaluated on how we did in two areas: Did we learn to love God with all our heart?  And did we learn to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Life is not about achievements, it is not about accomplishments.  It is not about acquisition.  It is about relationships.  It’s why God put you on this planet.  Love is the main thing.

This year the 40 day spiritual renewal emphasis at Wahoo Church (the church that calls me pastor and probably a few other things from time to time) is love.  Our goal is for each of us to become great lovers.  We want to learn how to develop loving relationships.  Each week during this campaign I will post at least one article on the topic of love.

1. A great lover is committed to growth. 

You don’t become a great lover accidentally.  It is intentional.  You’re going to have to make a commitment to growth.  When Larke and I first got married I was the world’s worst gift giver in the history of mankind.  I would wait till the last minute, run out and find something girlish looking, purchase it home and give it to her… usually in the purchase bag!  While I am still not in the top percentile of gift givers, I did make a commitment to growth in this area of our relationship. 

I begin in the summer of each year praying that God would lead me to a special Christmas present for the woman who most think is a saint just for putting up with me on a daily basis.  I started listening to her and making notes when she says, “Oh, that is cute.”  If I am going to be able to wear the title, Dr. Love, it starts with a commitment to grow.

2.  A great lover has great role models.  

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love my dad and I treasure every lesson I learned from him in life (Even though I can’t use most of them in mixed company).  However, he did very little modeling when it came to this Christmas present issue.  He had a lady sales clerk at one of the department stores in our town be a personal shopper for him before personal shoppers were in vogue.  He would contact her about three weeks before Christmas and she would pick out a gift for my mom, wrap it and set it aside for my dad to pick up the week prior to Christmas.  He saw it when mom saw it.  Now as far as I know my mom was cool with this set up because the lady sales clerk did a good job.  This does not work in all situations. 

Some people see the love that goes into the thoughtful planning, shopping, and preparation of the gift for presentation just as important as the gift.  On one level, I see their point.  Now my dad was a great role model in work ethic and the fine art of a dry sense of humor but Christmas shopping, not so much. (Sorry for throwing you under the bus dad.)

Jesus is the model of perfection in relationships.  He was the Son of God.  He was perfect.  He was the only one who knew how to handle relationships perfectly.  As in all areas of life, he makes a great role model.

If we want become a great lover we would do well to listen to others like Jesus did, look at others like he did, give to others like he did and go to others like he did.   

Our theme Bible verse for the 40 Days of Love is 1 Corinthians 16:14 Everything you do must be done with love.”  One of the key words in this verse is the little word “do.”  There’s a difference between information and transformation.  If all you do is press the “Like” button on this article you are never going to become more loving.  You must move from your commitment to growth and observing your role model to actually practicing your love skills.  You must develop the habits of a great lover.  I will be exploring those skills and habits in future blog posts.

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