Thursday, January 9, 2014

What Is True Love?

My heart broke as I stood at her bedside.  So young, yet so much hurt in those blue eyes.

She had told me before about the men in her life and I wished she could somehow see the cycle of pain that she now lived.  Still… even as she lay, covered by tubes and needles, she seemed oblivious to both the sights and sounds of her hospital room… and the yawning chasm of longing I could see deep in her eyes.

An attempt to end the pain had brought her here, and though she said she’d hit rock bottom, her only focus was finding a way back to the misery that led her to a bathroom floor and an empty bottle of pills.

There’s so much more to life than this!  I want to shake her.  Wake her up to all the possibilities!  So much she could have… so much she could lose.

“Do you remember what I told you?”  My voice is soft, belying the turmoil that swirls in my gut.

She lifts tired eyes to meet mine.

“There’s someone out there for you… and I… I want you to find him… someday.  I want you to find a someone like my Tim.”

She smiles and nods as though her acknowledgement would end the speech that she knew would follow, but I went on.

“Do you know that you don’t have to settle for a man who doesn’t respect you enough to call you by your name?”

I paused, taking note of an elderly woman sitting nearby listening closely.  Oh well, let her listen.

“Do you realize that in all the years that Tim and I have known each other, he’s never called me the A, the B or the C word?  He’s never called me stupid.  He’s never called me dumb.  He’s never even said I was an idiot – even though I am sometimes!”

The woman in the corner gasped in surprise and I swung my head to meet her eyes.  

“How long have you been married?” she asked.

“Sixteen years.”

“Wow!  That’s amazing!”  She paused.  “Congratulations!”

“Thank you,” I smiled.  "But… I mean that,” my voice was gaining strength now as though somehow louder words would penetrate deeper into both the souls of young and old.  “There are men in this world who will take everything you have to give, and then toss you aside without a second thought… but then… then there are men who will love you for who you are.  He’s the kind of man who loves you without condition…  A kind of man who will love you not for what you bring into his life, but what he can offer yours!”

Both women sat silently with only beeping machines erupting the silence on occasion.

I left that room already days ago, but my mind goes back often.  

Why the gasp?  Why such shock over something that should be common? 

Young ladies, this is for you - Life doesn’t have to be like that!

There is a gift God wants to give you, and that is a man who will love you and treat you as the treasure you are.

Everything you give to the boy who makes your heart race today, is one less thing you’ll have to give to the man God is saving for your tomorrow.  And taking what isn’t yours before it is time only ends in a lifetime of pain. 

What kind of life do you want to have five or ten years from now?   Your choices today will set the course for the rest of your life.

But how will you know who that man is, you ask?

It's simple.  Fall deeper in love with Jesus… and when you find a man who loves you like Jesus does, you’ll know you’ve found the one.

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