This is what I do, don't try to understand how I do it; I don't really know either

Archive for May, 2016

Not just your Jesus

One of my favourite things in the world is the ocean. I have always loved it and always will. It soothes my soul, and not for its rhythmic sounds, but for it sheer raw power. The ocean is beautiful but if you mess with it, it will take you out. It has mysteries too deep for us to ever know. Dangers that lurk under its surface. The sheer magnitude is staggering. Every crashing wave is a demonstration of its strength. It can be incredibly useful, but also deadly. 

The power and strength of the ocean draws me because when I was young, I was vulnerable and hurt deeply. I seek protection – even as an adult. The result of my pain was that I became a fighter,but it never changes that inside I still hurt and am still vulnerable. In fact I am a huge believer in the wholehearted living that Brene Brown talks about, which is essentially about living vulnerably. It’s not building a castle so no one can ever hurt you again, but about having people around me so that when I am hurt they can help me. I need people who are strong in my life because I walk through hard places. 

It’s also why I am drawn more to Jesus when I read that He is the kind of man who took the time to make a whip and throw out those who were exploiting his people. Yes, He’s a God of mercy but also, just as much, He is a God of justice. He’s strong and powerful. That’s my Jesus.

But Jesus is not just that way. He welcomed little children, he washed the feet of his disciples, and he made sure his mother would be cared for once He was gone. He is tender and nurturing. It’s not that I deny this side of Jesus, but it’s not what draws me to him. Others who were hurt like me became timid, not fighters, and they can’t relate to my strong Jesus. Jesus’ tenderness is what draws them. But Jesus is perfectly balanced that way and it doesn’t matter what side I am seeing of him, He is both those ways all the time. 

We forget that Jesus is more- SO much more, than just what we want him to be. We want him to fit in our box. We want him to not allow a trans person in our bathroom but we forget that He’s also the Jesus that doesn’t want little children crying and peeing their pants because they can’t go to the boys bathroom at their teaches insistence, but they can’t go to the girls bathroom because the girls won’t let them. This is happening and its destroying children from the inside. There are two sides to every coin and what I want to say more than anything here is that He’s not just your Jesus. Take your glasses off and ask to see Him from a different perspective. It may not be the Jesus you want to see but He’s so much more than we can ever comprehend. He is God. Deeper than the deepest ocean and with far more mysteries. 

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You’ve Gone Deaf

People typically get married because they are “in love.” Usually at that time love looks like feelings of butterflies, shared quiet moments, and dreams for the future. Once you are married real life happens. Dirty socks are left on the floor, babies and puke and exhaustion happen. The dreams of some blissful happily ever after, fade. What’s left is what’s actually real. This is where you find love. 

Love is a choice, not a feeling. Feelings fade, but you make choices every single day. 

So what happens when your spouse doesn’t love you anymore? I have talked to so many people who believe their spouse doesn’t love them, when what I can see from the outside is that the problem isn’t a lack of love, it’s that you’ve gone deaf. See before we get married, all those little gestures that you gave credit to them for because they were trying, are now falling on deaf ears. There comes a shift where instead of just trying, you actually need to be told you are loved in the ways that you are able to hear it. If you want to break it down into five love languages then go ahead, but the reality is that we don’t all feel loved by the same actions. We were created exquisitely different. So to effectively love a person and convey that to them, there has to come a point when I stop trying and start doing. My choice to love must follow with actions that demonstrate that love in the ways my spouse hears it. 

As an example: I may say I care about homeless people and that they are close to my heart but if I do nothing to ever help, then do I really care? If I show up with armfuls of broken computers as a way to help but that doesn’t actually help them, then do I care? But we keep raising our banner to boast that we actually did something because we want to be commended, but we need to not just do something, we must actually be helpful, be purposeful with our love. This takes effort and communication to ask what is needed and then hear what they say. 

On the flip side as a spouse you need to still acknowledge the ways your spouse is trying to love you but it’s also great if you can communicate, in a loving way, what are ways that you feel the most loved. It’s all about communication and you can’t hear if your deaf. 

Pain will make you deaf. We will hurt each other (that’s a guarantee) and pain undealt with, or consistently repeated will make you deaf. You will not be able to hear that the other person actually loves you, even when they really do. Your problem is not a lack of love – it’s a lack of communication and probably deafness. 

The next time you think your spouse doesn’t love you, check yourself because the most likely scenario is that you’ve both gone deaf. Get some help so you can hear each other again because the love is there, it just must be rediscovered and heard.