Thursday, June 30, 2016

Love is Committed

For those of you who read my blog reviews, you know that I was impressed with the last book I read on love. Dave Willis had some good things to say and some hard things for me to hear. I want to write people off if they don't conform after a certain period of time, but that isn't how it works.

I want God to release me from the pressure of loving the people around me because it's hard. I want to curl up in a corner on the edge of my sofa and read a light thrilling novel. I want to hide out in my house and do my grocery shopping at midnight when nobody else is out and about in town. I went to Walmart yesterday morning (this was written on Tuesday) at 9 AM and it was full of Mennonites!!  I mean, I thought all good Mennonites stayed at home and did laundry and organized the house after the weekend. Wait, good Mennonites probably never let their house get disorganized over the weekend. I wanted to hide. I didn't want to smile or even be nice. I can go to town for weeks and not see anybody I know and then five groups of people in one day in one half-hour segment? Really!!!! And to those of you I met there, I have no thing against you, I just like to get into shopping mode and do my thing and move on and I'm not a big fan of the possibility that someone might actually see what I was buying. Horrors!!  I mean what if I would have had a pregnancy test in my cart? Think of the rumors that could have started from that!!

Okay, moving on from my little tangent. Why did it bother me that I saw people I knew in Walmart? I'm not embarrassed to be in Walmart, I leave the embarrassment to my husband who does NOT like Walmart. I wasn't buying anything I shouldn't have been. I think the thing was it felt like an inconvenience. I was supposed to smile and say something or at the very least acknowledge their presence and I didn't feel like it.

Maybe this is a bad analogy when talking about love, but if love is committed, then I need to be willing to pause at the end of the aisle, say "Hello, how's it going?" rather than making a quick, sneaky move down a different aisle hoping that the other person didn't see you. Yes, I have been guilty of this and while I'm writing this, it's not something I recommend emulating.

Jesus said that the proof of being His disciple was the love we had for those around us. If that is the case, I should be willing to crawl through Walmart, (not literally) and stop and smile and be willing to chat with anyone and everyone I meet. What do people think when they see this harried looking lady with a black thing on her head and long skirt who is rushing madly through the store? I'm guessing they don't think of a loving person, a kind person, a compassionate person. They think of someone who might border on rude or pushy or just plain unkind and uncaring. OUCH!!! That's not the kind of testimony I want to leave in my wake.

So what is the moral? The next time I see you in Walmart, I will attempt not to avoid you. I will try to at least smile and say "Hello".

I think when we think of commitment we often equate it to marriage and it is an absolute necessity in marriage. I just think of the huge advantage I have in my relationship with my husband because I know that divorce is not an option for either of us. I can be secure in my marriage because I know he's not going to give up when the going gets rough.

But I think commitment needs to be more than that. I will stay committed to my kids because they are flesh of my flesh and I love them, but what about my siblings or my friends or even my neighbors? Do I write them off if they do something I think is weird or if they are unloving to me? Am I committed to having a relationship regardless? Granted, we don't have a close relationship with every person we meet, but commitment requires keeping our promises even when we don't feel like it.

Before I wrap this thing up, just a few things from Dave Willis on this. He says commitment requires patience and we live in an instant gratification world so we don't want to wait. He says, "We've traded true intimacy for porn. we've traded committed marriages for commitment-free cohabitation. We've traded having children for having pets. We've traded meaningful conversations for text messages. We've traded 'til death do us part' for divorce. We've traded the pursuit of holiness for the pursuit of happiness. We've traded love for lust." "Once we become willing to choose the patient path of love, we'll be poised to take our relationships to a new level of healing and health. Love isn't a quick fix. Love is a lifelong pursuit." A commitment.

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Be the Gift by Ann Voskamp

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