My husband just watched the entire series of “Cheers.” I enjoyed watching some of it with him. I think we all secretly long for a place we can walk into and everybody says “Hey, Norm.” (or “Hey, Maria” or fill in your name here.) We long for someone to see our face and ask, “Do you want ‘the usual?’” I don’t think I’ve ever walked into a coffee shop or restaurant and had anyone ask me if I want the usual.
But it’s on my bucket list.
As a mom, I’ve found if my children are going to act a fool (that’s the nice Southern way of saying it … trust me.) they are most likely going to do it when they are alone with me. When they were little I often received compliments on their behavior in public places. Their teachers always loved them because they obeyed and were polite in class. They’ve always been great kids … for everyone else. But love that’s proven to be unconditional is often tested, and they test mine often.
I know my children better than anyone else knows them. I spend more time with them than anyone else. And they know nothing they do will change my love for them. I might struggle to like them some days, but that’s a totally different thing. They are known and loved without condition by me. I hope they always know that to be true in their lives, especially during these rough teenage years.
The more time we spend with someone, the more we invest in them and allow them to see the real us, the more risk is involved. But when we’ve proven our love is trustworthy it can become an open invitation to test our love. I truly believe that’s why I get to see the worst of their behavior, why they choose to push back more with me than anyone else.
They are known and loved.
In our eighteen-plus years of marriage, my husband has come to know me better than anyone else. We share a life. Sometimes it’s crazy beautiful, once in awhile it downright stinks and then the rest of the time it’s comfortable and safe. I have temper tantrums every now and then. He gives me the cold shoulder occasionally. This is married life.
I can just be me. He can be himself.
At the end of the day our love is secure and no matter how we’ve tested the bounds of it, it remains. We are known and loved by each other, and no matter how messy that love may look to an outsider, we know the ways of that love intimately. And can I tell you something? It’s always better when we intentionally spend more time together, invest in each other and pray for one another. Love is a lot of hard work.
I’m known and loved so very well by this man. He even knows my coffee order: Grande. Americano. Black. But it’s just a drop in the known bucket.
Ahhh … more than any other love, I can rest in the fact I am truly known and loved by God.
Unlike any of my other loves, this one is by far the most intimate of loves. God gets a front row seat to my inner dialogue; He knows my every thought. It’s a hot mess in my head, sometimes … ever so judgmental, self-deprecating and, occasionally, the depths of my hypocrisy astounds me. I project who I want to be to those around me, but God knows me for who I truly am and loves me with the only truly perfect love this world has ever known. That is truly humbling.
God is Love.
It’s who He is. And when He tells us what it means to love, He’s giving us a guideline based on how He loves us. One we’ll never hope to live up to, no matter how hard we try. But it’s not an excuse to quit striving to love like Jesus did. Ever.
Here’s what I know about being known and loved by God: When I stay connected to His words, when I share my life with Him, and when I look for the ways His love is evidenced in my life, I feel secure in that love and I find it’s easier to trust Him. But when I don’t have constant reminders of His love, I start to forget.
Our scripture writing plan for this month has served as a constant reminder of God’s love for me … for all of us.
Francis Chan said this in his book Crazy Love:
He does not have to know us so well, but He chooses to.”
What a gift … to be known and loved.
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