I used to think I knew what love was. Even when I married the love of my life nearly 16 years ago, I thought I knew what love was. As a believer in God, I thought I knew what love was. As a daughter and now a mother, I thought I knew what love was. Nearly 35 years old, I confess that I'm only now beginning to fully grasp what love really is. Call it growing up, maturing or just plain ole life experience, but I call it Jesus. It seems everyday He is challenging me to love like he did. The Word I've been hearing from Him is "reset the standard....and the standard is love". When looking up the definition of standard (as a noun) I found one definition interesting. It states, "a conspicuous object (as a banner) formerly carried at the top of a pole and used to mark a rallying point especially in battle or to serve as an emblem".
Hang on to that definition for a minute. In my bathroom, sitting on the counter, is a rock that says "it wasn't nails that held Jesus to the cross....but it was love" I look at that rock every day and I'm so familiar with it sitting there that most days I don't even see what is written on it. It's true, though! It was love that held him there that day. He chose to lay down his life so that we could live.....so that our destiny could be a reality....so that we could be free. Love was the lense He saw us through. He could see who we REALLY were meant to be before sin entered the picture. He saw us as sons and daughters, brothers, sisters and friends. He saw the gold in us!
John 15:13 says, "there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
Not too long ago I heard someone say "love, covenant love, will lay down its life for the destiny of another". I was so moved by this, and began to pray, "Father, help me to love this way". He showed me That Jesus' love did just that! In a sense, he died for our destiny.......to become who we were created to be. When we see others for who they were created to be, it moves us to a place of furious, passionate love to see that destiny come about in them. Let me stress, we don't see them as the people we would have them be, but who the Father has already called them to be. For me, it started with myself. I had to see MYSELF as He sees me. Funny thing happened, I actually began to like myself and eventually love myself. I began to see the destiny and purpose he had for my life. His love did that! He set the standard for how to love in how He has loved us.
As I look around, I see love being misused and misrepresented. I believe He is calling us to reset the standard. Going back, to the definition. We can rally around many things like theology, morals, and principles.
Frankly, those things did not changed my life, LOVE did. There is no other banner I want over my life, but love. There is no other emblem I want to mark me, but love. There is no other name I want to rally around, but Jesus! There is no other standard to align myself with, but the extravagant, furious, relentless love of Christ that gave ALL. It's a wonderous thing to stand in that kind of love! It has given me a way to be securely connected to Him and who He made me to be!