Is the title of the blog news to anyone? Anyone who is married, in a relationship, friends with someone, or even just someone who loves yourself – you know the truth to the title – Loving is Hard.
Loving may not be hard when you look at the way the world defines or acts out love. If you have ever watched an episode of the Bachelor or Bachelorette or any other “matchmaking” reality show – you might think that love is all fun, easy, and highly entertaining. But, one thing you would not find much of on these shows is the Biblical definition of love.
Some ladies here in AR this summer are studying a newer Crossway release that I had already read and reviewed but am going back through with some friends. It is a highly convicting read – Phil Ryken’s Loving the Way Jesus Loves – but so good. The point of Ryken’s book is not to put love in a certain category, but make Jesus love applicable to every area of your life. Ryken takes the basic outline and characteristics of 1 Corinthians 13 and puts it in context of the gospels – showing how Jesus fulfilled every one of these characteristics of love.
One of the hardest displays of love is “love is not irritable”. At least it is one of the hardest for me to live every day. One aspect of love that I am working on in our marriage is not giving the silent treatment when I am hurt. I tend to be easily offended (that is the one thing I am often seeking forgiveness for) and my way of dealing with it (sinful way) is the silent treatement. That does nothing for a marriage at all. My rationale for it is I don’t want to say anything in the moment that would hurt worse – but while there is wisdom in it – during my silent time I’m usually becoming more angry rather than praying and seeking God’s wisdom on what to do about the occuring situation.
Jesus has never given me the silent treatment. He listens, talks (through his Word and the Holy Spirit), ever pleads my case to the Father. I need to be more like Jesus – keeping in mind that it isn’t my righteousness at all that makes me look or act or love better – but only having more of the love of Jesus in me – which is all Ryken’s premise in the first place.
Do you find it hard to love? Easy to love? Pick up this book for encouragement and edification in how to love.