Love is a fight and the opponent is often our will to continue.
Because of my vocational role my office can be an interesting place. I have a front and center view of marriages falling apart, addicts searching for hope and relief, and parents pleading for help with a wayward child, all from my worn out old leather office chair.
If you haven’t noticed, life can be really hard sometimes. This week while doing an inductive study on Romans 12, I noticed something that you may already know. Love is often not at all like it is portrayed on television or in those cute little princess books I read to my daughter. Kids rebel, spouses are unfaithful…there is obviously much evil in the world that brings people to the point of giving up hope on their marriage, their parental role, or even their own life. Love isn’t always easy. In fact, it is often a fight.
When we say “I love you,” we often are referring to an emotional feeling. What if our statement of “I love you” meant something more? What if it meant I would fight, do whatever it takes for you! Not a physical fight, but a relentless pursuit of faithfulness.
In Romans 12:10-11 Paul states, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” In this abstract on love in action he places this verse carefully. Devotion, honor, sincerity, joy, patience are all virtues that surround this verse. Zeal and fervor are to be central to all of these. It is a fight. Love is a fight and the opponent is often our will to continue. We must not quit fighting for love. Often people misunderstand the Bible in one of two ways. First, as muffins, rainbows, and hugs, painting Jesus as this hippie softhearted individual that blindly misses the actual state of the world. Or they associate the Bible with genocide, believing that God is a horrible egotistic individual that just wants to be worshiped, missing completely the trajectory of Scripture. (Read more on the trajectory of scripture here) In both cases I’ll often respond, “I don’t believe in that God either!” What I do see is Jesus who was relentlessly faithful. He suffered for the ones he loves; he took emotional and physical abuse. He was betrayed and rejected, all in his zeal for faithful love.
This amazes me! I want to keep my zeal, fervently hold to my commitments, fight for my family and for those hurting and in need. I desire to give hope to people who have none, proudly standing by an objective Truth that I believe holds the answers people need. I want to fight for love.