All my inmost being

I know this blog is really about discovering what it means to really love my wife, but somehow I am stuck in what it means to really love God. My hope is that one flows out of the other, as I understand that His love is pretty much the model that I am working from…

So, flash back about 20 years, BBC2, Friday evenings – The Fast Show

This week I have been mostly reading the Hallel Psalms
(And the few before them)

“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

What does that mean? All that is within me?

Is that something we just sing/say/pray? Does all that is within me truly bless the Lord? Does every breath I take go towards Him as worship? Every action? Every thought?

What kind of a God is even worthy of that level of worship?

If I extrapolate this to my marriage – could I be the kind of husband that invokes something even close to that level of response from my wife?

If I truly believe that every action of God speaks of his incredible, covenant-keeping, faithful, steadfast, death-defying, life-creating, awe-inspiring, forgiving, merciful, compassionate, righteous, just, honourable, glorious, awesome love – even in his justice & discipline, then can I capture even a fraction of this in the way I treat S.?

Can I aim to pour out and show love to her with every action I take? Can I seek to serve her daily? To be slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love?

To ensure that she knows that she is truly loved from the “depth of her being”, so that “all that is within her” has to acknowledge that love, just like David did? And if my love is only a picture of God’s love (however limited a picture that may be, of course), could I seek to love my wife in a way that leads her to praise her heavenly father even more, as she catches glimpses of His love in mine?

May be a bold prayer – but nothing like going large!

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him
Psalm 103

Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever
Psalm 111

God is love… But I am human

God is love. Every action, every story in the Bible shouts that love, even through to his discipline.

The pages of the Bible shout His love. Creation sings of His love. He chose us to show that love with our lives.

How loudly does my life shout about his love?

So what does this mean for me?

God is love and I am human. My frustration generally does not show my love (let alone God’s!), neither does my hurt or my upset…

But yet the same facts are true for me… There is never a moment when I don’t love S., there is never a moment when I don’t love my kids. (Even though that love may be pushed to the limits…)

So, logically – if the above is true, there must be a way I can learn to respond – even my most extreme emotions – in a way that pours out my love (or God’s love)?!

How do I learn from God to show my love at all times despite my humanity?

Can I be angry/ hurt/ frustrated/ disappointed/ [insert negative emotion here] and yet still show love?

Can I be human but learn from my creator? Can I explain my biggest frustrations with S. and have her feeling more loved and affirmed than when we started?

Can I call my kids up on something and have them know that my love is unconditional of their behaviour?

Ephesians 3:17-19 

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Conditions on love?

Do we put conditions on our affection? When love is freely received by us, why do we struggle to freely give?

Luke 6:32-36

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

If Jesus is asking me to love my enemies freely, how much more should I pour love out on those within my own home?

Matthew 18:32-35

Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Romans 5:8

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He pours His love and forgiveness out on us when we are not worthy.

In my marriage, do I pour out the incredible,  death-defying, generous, merciful, gracious, faithful, forgiving, unending covenantal love that was poured out on me?

Especially Fond Of You

Well this is what was in my mind when I wrote my last post… 

On that topic, I had a wonderful set of messages from my sister yesterday:

‘Stop striving, just be – and receive God’s love. Just as you are. He loves you just as you are. Allow him to love you just as you are – you are enough!’ Obviously the words ‘just as you are’ were the emphasis 🙂 Love you and thinking of you xxxxx

Isn’t it great to have family like that!!

The Lord has declared today that you are his people, his own special treasure, just as he promised, and that you must obey all his commands. (Deuteronomy 26:18) Read: Deuteronomy 26:1-27:26, Luke 10:38-11:13, Psalm 76:1-12, Proverbs 12:15-17 Relate: I am not a big fan of the Shack. It was a nice book. I didn’t get all worked up over the […]

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