"Love is beautiful, but it is also terrible--terrible in its determination to allow nothing blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved."
~ Hannah Hurnard ~
My four year old Missy eagerly dresses each morning for preschool. She finds a pair of purple sweatpants and a deep red frilly shirt and ties the ensemble together with a yellow headband, never using a brush to tame her wild mane. She tells me she is ready to go, blonde strands of hair sticking out everywhere, peanut butter smudges on her face and teeth un-brushed. She slips into her pink and purple mudboots, never mind that there is no mud to be seen anywhere nearby. Her runny nose hardly seems to matter considering the rest of the wreckage before me. I love her so dearly; I almost let her go to school looking like an uncared for orphan.
Actually, I love her too much to allow her to go out of the house looking like this. I make her stand still for an excruciating minute while I wipe her face, comb her hair and brush her teeth. I exchange the red top for a matching purple sweatshirt. Surveying my work and seeing that she now looks presentable, I allow her to head out the door.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.”
A family gathers around an addicted love one for an intervention. A wife tells her husband that his pornography is not welcome in her home. A father disciplines his disobedient children. All examples of “tough love” as Dr. Dobson would say it or “terrible” love as Hannah Hurnard puts it.
We would rather someone just accept us – warts and all – than someone confront us with ugliness in our character. True, pure love looks out for the interests of the other and longs for the loved one to be all that God created him/her to be. God’s love cannot be compared with man’s though and we must be reminded that He IS love and He loves us in purity.
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. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
God wants the best for us and in us. He is working on our character, but it is so important to realize that His love keeps no record of wrongs. Every morning, His compassion is new and His mercy is fresh. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we already are everything God created us to be, we just haven’t realized it yet experientially.
If I think of God’s love as “terrible,” I will be weighed down by guilt. If I concentrate solely upon His desire to see perfection in my life, I will be overcome with anxiety. This is not God’s desire! He wants us to know His love is full of righteousness and purity, but His love also contains grace and mercy. He is not looking for the small blemishes with a magnifying glass; rather, He is gently guiding us toward paths of righteousness.
For other thoughts on this quote, visit Bonnie.