Sisters In Christ Worldwide
Love Isn't Twisted
Love Isn’t Twisted
by Ann Thomas
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. ~ Thomas Merton
Janet’s heart was torn to bits. A month earlier she’d met the man of her dreams. At least so she thought. She and Robert talked on the phone for hours each day, sharing their hopes, dreams, and goals. They even shared some of their pains from previous failed relationships. Finally, she found someone who totally got her, and she understood him. Typically Janet would wait at least three months before telling her friends about a new prospect, but she broke her own rules with Robert. After two weeks she told her best friend Desiree all about him. He was financially stable, a great father to his kids (from a previous marriage), and he had a wonderful relationship with his children’s mother. He went to church regularly, and complimented her all day, every day. He seemed perfect for her. And most important she trusted him. One night, during one of their three-hour phone conversations Janet shared that she had been involved with a married man one year earlier. She felt comfortable sharing a past mistake with Robert because it was truly just that – in the past. As she spoke through shame-filled tears, acknowledging the deep trenches of sin and compromise she had allowed herself to go; the phone went silent on the other end. When Robert finally spoke up, he said he was tired and needed to get some sleep. Over the next couple of days, the ‘good morning beautiful’ texts seemed to wane, and the two-hour phone calls dwindled to twenty five minutes. After much prodding, questioning, and pleading for Robert to be honest about the obvious change in his demeanor; he finally admitted that he had a problem with what Janet did. He apologized and ended the relationship saying, “It’s not you, it’s me. I thought you were perfect.” Regardless to the type of relationship (boyfriend, husband, parent, friend), we can each recall a situation where we felt rejected for not being who someone wanted or expected us to be. They tried to twist and mold us into who they wanted and when we didn’t live up to their expectations; we were cast aside and left questioning our self-worth and value. We all desire to be loved for who we are. No one wants to pretend to be someone we aren’t to experience true love. And what exactly is love anyway? We live in a society where the word ‘love’ is used loosely to describe anything from the foods we enjoy to the name-brand purses we buy. We have diminished the meaning of the word. The Greek word for love is agape. Agape is a deep spiritual love that is true and without conditions. The word ‘condition’ means a premise upon which the fulfillment of an agreement depends. In other words, there is a stipulation that must be met. Love that has spoken or unspoken stipulations is conditional, which is totally opposite of how God loves us. Romans 5:8 says, that God showed His [unconditional] love toward us while we were STILL sinners by sending Jesus to die for us. God didn’t require that we repented first before Jesus gave up His life. That’s true unconditional love. We are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and 1 John 4:8 says God is love. Therefore, like God we are created to love others unconditionally and we should also expect to be loved that way in return. However, we are human and this type of love doesn’t come naturally. Parents should be the frontline examples of this love, but for some – they didn’t get it and can’t give what they don’t have. So we must go back to the original unconditional lover of our soul – Father God. The danger of not experiencing this type of love is our innate desire to have it, which sends us on a quest to fulfill that yearning in other ways. The devil is crafty and will place counterfeits of this love in our paths through destructive and unhealthy relationships. So we must seek to know the real thing. The Bible is filled with several stories of unconditional love such as, Ruth and Naomi (The book of Ruth), David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18), and Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29). Please take some time to read these inspiring stories. My precious sister, I encourage you to draw closer to God through reading His Word, prayer, and worship. He is the ONE and TRUE unconditional lover of your soul. As you allow Him to lavish His perfect love on you; you will then be able to allow His love to flow through you to others. True love doesn’t have conditions and doesn’t twist others into who we want them to be. True love has no conditions and embraces the uniqueness in which we were all created.