When you ask someone to describe love, you don’t hear confusing, but love is confusing to many of us. It shouldn’t be. Scripture is very clear, yet as humans we mess it up. It left me confused.
As a very young girl, I loved my parents and I knew they loved me. However, sometimes home was also violent and scary. I couldn’t understand how a dad who loved me could also be so angry. In my older years, I could reconcile how his experience in WWII and alcohol facilitated the violence. But, there was a lasting impact that confusion left on my heart.
In a recent therapy experience, we were walking through the confusion, and the lack of trust that resulted from it. She asked me to put love into an image. I said, ”Oh, it’s a birthday cake with candles.” She responded so expertly, ”How sweet. I wonder what is inside the cake. What happens if you cut it open?” I imagined myself cutting into the cake and gravel came pouring out.
It was a great image for how a young girl understood love. Love is confusing. I expected it to be sweet, kind, and fun, but it was often harsh, rough, and painful. Being able to put that in front of myself and examine it is allowing me to move forward in the kind of trust and love described in this scripture.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV).
Many of us have confusing examples of love in our lives. It leaves us questioning others and ourselves. Yet, if we look to the one who showed us love in its purest form, we can see what love is meant to be. This has allowed me to stop expecting love to turn to pain. Thank you, God!
Has love been confusing to you? Take an inventory. What examples do you see? How is this deterring you from giving and receiving love in its fullest? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.