Three months ago I was dressed up in my wedding dress walking towards the love of my life. Being a newlywed is awesome and hard. The hard part is learning how selfish I can be at times and growing to be more loving and kind. When I was younger I had an idea of marriage being two people who live happily ever after - no disagreements, no hurts, just happiness all the time. Actually marriage is showing me a deeper and deeper understanding of what love really is and what God’s perfect love looks like even though it’s been a hard process.
About a week ago my husband and I had a disagreement and I chose selfishly to say some rude things and walk into the other room. My husband walked into the room, sat down beside me and starting reading from our daily devotional. The devotional is based on the book The Love Dare so it has daily dares of learning how to love your spouse intentionally. This particular day it dared us to read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. You know the famous love verses read at most weddings:
“Love is patient, love is kind…” Then came the twist - the devotional dared us to read the passage with our name in the place of the words love and it. So right after I had been rude and impatient I placed my name, Hope, in the place of the words love and it for 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, and this is what I read:
“Hope is patient, Hope is kind; Hope does not envy or boast; Hope is not arrogant or rude. Hope does not insist on her own way; Hope is not irritable or resentful; Hope does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Hope bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Wow, was that convicting!
After reading those verses I was reminded what God’s love really is. His love is perfect. His love is what I want to strive for. I want to be able to read those verses and say I do act that way not only to my husband but also to everyone around me.
Love isn’t just a romantic word but a sacrificial word too. The world’s most romantic love story is a story of a husband and wife; the story is full of suffering, tremendous pain, and death. No, it isn’t Romeo and Juliet; it’s the story of Christ and his bride the church. “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
I pray this week you spend time praying about how to reflect the love of Christ to those around you from the closest people you know to the waitress who serves you at lunch. I pray that as you seek to love like him you are awakened to his beautiful love story of His love towards you. He loves you perfectly and he sacrificially loved you by dying for you!
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
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Hope McCleary graduated from Mesa State College with a degree in Mass Communications. After graduating she spent two years working in local news at KKCO 11 News in Grand Junction, Co. She decided to give up her career in the media to share the message of Christ full-time. She joined full-time staff with Master Plan Ministries the summer of 2012 and got married to Forrest McCleary in September of 2012. Through her own personal ups and downs in college Hope has a heart for college women understand their worth as God’s daughters, to see them grow in their faith, to grow in the unique gifts God has given them, and to stand firm in their faith even with the pressures of the world all around them. Hope’s interests include world and local missions, photography, singing, playing guitar and writing music, reading, meeting new people, coffee, and hiking.
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