26 September 2010

Christ-Like Love

Yesterday (today it is Wednesday as I type) Pastor Joe, my pastor since 5 years of age, called me to tease me about an email I sent him (I was recently hacked and emails were sent out to everyone on my list...about via*ra of all things....so embarrassing, and so not my fault, but kind of funny, looking back) and to ask me to speak at the end of Sunday's sermon.

It was an honor to be asked, and I know part of the reason is Pastor Joe knows the kind of marriage John and I have, and that in and of itself is a blessing, and part of it is he knows I don't mind getting up in front to speak.

He asked four of us (four women) to give some examples of how our husband demonstrates Christ-Like love towards us...okay this was so easy for me, and I was excited to even think about the answers, then I realized how many answers I had and how would I narrow it down and just pick a few?

But God is good and there are some memories of things that John has done that just really stand out, and that is what I plan on sharing in church on Sunday!  As you read this it will be Sunday, and so I'm hoping you'll pray for us that our words would be clear and honor not only our spouses but those around us.  And pray that my Marky doesn't cry too much without me in the nursery since I have to speak twice in both services.

John being my support during labor with Mark.
Love is unconditional: One memory that sticks out in my mind is the way that John selflessly supported me through the birth of both our children.  He was with me every moment, holding my hand, rubbing my back, saying encouraging words, and rooting for me to deliver the way I wanted to.  He believed in me and knew I had the strength to do it and he just loved me by being at my side.  To me that is what Christ like love is...it is unconditional, it believes in the best in the person, and it never gives up.  I was probably at my worst, and not the sweetest person or most lovely to look at, but John in his own tenderness and love treated me like a queen and it was then that I knew that I couldn't have gone through all of that without him.  I needed him and he was there.  His love wasn't conditional or based upon what my outside appearance was...He loved me unconditionally and made a choice to help me no matter what.  Love is unconditional!

Our trip to London

 Love is sacrificial.  When I was 4 months pregnant with Julia we were in London vacationing before we were about to head out to study at Oxford under the apologetic Ravi Zacharias team.  There was a recent bombing in one of the airports and there was a sense of uncertainty in the air.  I can remember feeling a bit timid walking the streets of London and watching the news in our hotel room.  But that evening after touring all day, and being newly pregnant and all, I had a craving for a buttered roll, now it didn't matter that there was a recent bombing or that it was 11 oclock at night, or that John didn't know what stores were open, I NEEDED a buttered roll, and I needed it now!  So, John got out of bed and went out into the dangerous streets of London, and within 30 minutes or so I had a buttered roll!  (It's not my fault, the baby needed it)  Now that is love.  Love is sacrificial!

John has also demonstrated Christ like love towards me in the manner in the way he plans a surprise.  I can think of many surprises that he has blessed me with that have been extravagant.  Jesus loves us in an extravagant way and He demonstrated that when He died for us on the cross.  He went to the full extent, and suffered and died and then rose again!  His love is extravagant!  He did all of that so that we can be with Him and have a restored relationship with God.

Love is extravagant.  John surprised me by our 2nd year of marriage he took me and my parents to Europe for the first time!  He took us to a trip to Rome!  He planned everything, and not only did he bless me with this gift but he blessed my family as well.  He picked a great hotel for us to stay at, he planned all our excursions (even though we called him the tour nazi) and then he lavished us extravagantly while in Rome.  My mom got to see Degas artwork and sculputures one of her favorite artists and we all got to experience life in Europe for 10 days!  We went to the Vatican, saw the Sistina Chapel (I fainted...that's another story!) walked the Spanish steps, visited the Fountain de Trevi, saw the Colosseum, The Pantheon, St. Peter's Basillica, it was amazing!

Christmas 2004

Love is costly.  Since I have been a stay at home mom our vacations have been fewer and farther between and closer to home, which is totally understandable and fine, but John always makes it a point to take me away for the weekend during our anniversary to Cape May,  one of my favorite places in new jersey.  John calls Cape May "girl land" because of the Victorian homes, bed and breakfasts, and all the fun shops...its such a treat when we get to go there and I'm sure he'd much rather save a couple of hundred dollars and stay at home but he does it simply to make me smile and bless me.  (He says I have the best and biggest smile every time we go there)  Love is sometimes costly.

Cape May

I'm truly blessed with a godly husband who is not only faithful and loving but one who continues to shower me with unconditional, sacrificial, and extravagant love!  Thank you babe!  You demonstrate Christ like love all the time to me!

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