Saturday, March 10, 2012


Definition: Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible.

This Greek word and variations of it are found throughout the New Testament. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for his followers:

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. (John 14:21, NIV)

I've been reflecting on this a lot lately, what would it look like to live this way? Sacrificial, unconditionally loving each individual you come into contact with, being selfless. I have a couple of close friends that have each been going through their own set of difficulty in/just out of marriage and it got me thinking. My heart truly aches for these people, marriage was meant to show the relationship the Lord has with the church, the beautiful way the church was meant to look out for each other, to take care of the needs of your neighbor without expectations in return. But how good are we at exemplifying this to our spouse?

Recently my husband Bryce has been working night shifts, which (for those of you who've never worked nights) means he's exhausted ALL the time and really has 1 less day off between shifts as he has to switch back eating and sleeping. This was the specific reason i drug my feet a little when he presented this idea to me back in September of last year when they began "bidding" for shifts. My husband works in corrections and nights bring a much needed relief from being called the most foul names from the most foul mouthed the county has to offer. I knew it would be good for him, help bring him back to his normal happy self, but i was being selfish and knew he'd sleep all day and we would literally have NO time without the kids on his work days. The Lord convicted me of this bad attitude and thus, i jumped on board with support. He has been SO much happier that it has been so worth it! But he has definitely been exhausted, worn down to the point that he passes out 20 minutes after he gets home and wakes up 20 minutes before he leaves. This allows me 40 minutes to see him a day (when the kids are awake and active).
I suppose i should get to the point of this back story- I do not like sharing my husband. It's really something i'm working on, but truth is I'd really like to hog him all to myself and handcuff him to me forever. He's really amazing, for all of you who don't know this- sorry he's been stuck to me for 5 years;) Anyway i will try and allow you time with him in the future, though i keep his schedule pretty tight only allowing a couple hours a week to be on his own (in case you're unsure, I'm TOTALLY joking). The man is amazing, he is giving and faithful, he does not ever doubt the Lord even for a moment. He can store incredible amounts of knowledge in his brain and remembers the events of the bible pretty dead on all the time! If you know me you know that I can't even remember which world war was fought where. SO this is incredible to me, i can try and make some sort of remark about history and he always corrects me gently. Anyway, he's hilarious, he's forgiving, he chooses not be bothered by little things and does not hold onto grudges or hurts. He is an awesome friend to many, a great mentor and a loyal follower of Jesus.
How in the world did I land him? I seriously ask myself this sometimes, it seems like every area i lack he is right there to balance it all out. I am sometimes unsure what i add to this equation. He always pursues me, in romance and in arguments, he weighs his feelings and thoughts before speaking. I like to throw up my defensive walls, skulk to my corner and think about what happened and why in the world i'm reacting so poorly.
Bryce has taught me the meaning of agape. He is selfless and loves me unconditionally, he sacrifices a lot for me.

I've decided lately that I want to be better at Agape love, not only to my husband but to everyone i meet and everyone i know. I want to bring patience and honesty with me everywhere, sometimes sacrificing my comfort to bless those around me. There's a new song my dad played for me recently by Mac Powell "When love sees you" from the perspective of Jesus
"Tell me your story, show me your wounds
and I'll show you what love sees, when love looks at you"
This song really hit me, how am I really like Jesus if I'm not doing this? Do i make my life about this very thing, showing people what love sees? Do i love without concern of what others may think, or what might happen to me? Do i sacrifice the safety and comfort of my own "stuff" to find out what someone else might need?
I chose to start this new lifestyle in my own home. The other day Bryce was in the middle of his days off and just couldn't get himself to wake up, my heart was feeling hurt that he wouldn't get up and spend time with me- so i chose to wash, oil and massage his feet, and later give him a face massage as well as let him stay asleep until almost noon. I'm definitely not trying to brag on myself, my point to say that I felt amazing doing this, the act of choosing to bless him even when i wanted to be hurt made ME feel better! My heart changed to pure joy and love toward him, I was able to feel empathy for how hard he was working for me and the kids. He woke up at 11:30 feeling great and we had an awesome day after that! If i had chosen to be hurt all it would have earned me was a miserable day because he'd have felt bad but been unable to help his exhaustion. This way we both won, and i felt so good that i was able to help him relax and snap out of his tiredness faster.
We've been married five years, the most rewarding and incredible years of my life. He has taught me so many amazing things about the Lord, and our relationship has become deeper and more beautiful each passing day that we have together. We are flawed, we choose to be selfish at times, we refuse to let go of pride others, but one thing is sure- we want to be teachable, to learn wisdom, and to always strive to love unconditionally no matter what. Practicing this kind of love at home sets us up for success when we come into contact with people outside these four walls. I want my children to see me as ever learning and changing, striving to put others before myself each day.
God is so good, and the prime example of agape love. Marriage is supposed to exemplify His love for His bride- which i find that the church is often flawed in so many ways, ways that can be so offensive to those searching within its doors for truth and hope. Marriage can be this way too, we're searching within our marriage for truth and hope, and sometimes our partner responds with agape love, and sometimes we reject the notion and push them out with our desire for things to be "just so."
Truth is, the real church, the way God intended it, is NOT "just so." We cannot control it, and it really does not need to be controlled, it just needs to be loved. The church- those searching for acceptance and love from Jesus, just need those of us who are a part of it to sacrifice for her, to lay down our life and our comforts to unconditionally, selflessly love those who walk through our doors, and those in the world who will not.

Our goal is to Honor God. No matter the cost.
Elevation Worship, "For the Honor" is my very favorite song right now. Because no matter what God brings to my life- I would choose to Honor Him even if I had nothing. Even if i had everything. The only reason for my life is to bring Him Honor.

1 comment:

  1. ahhh yes....For the honor of the father who reaches out to us, that we might live inside His love, He gave His only son....

    What a wonderful blog! I am eternally grateful to the Lord for placing Bryce in this family to take care of one of my most precious gifts....You!

    I venture to guess that he would say much the same things about you, were he to write a blog. :) You are a beautiful woman of God who is light years ahead of your human years! Once again, I am blessed by you!