Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Love and Acceptance

Scripture Texts: Acts 10:34-48; Psalm 48

"O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple."

These are the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 48. The tendency is to think about or reflect on the love that God has for us more than spending time meditating. Meditating is deeper and more profound than thinking or reflecting. When we meditate on the unfailing love of God we spend time going beyond the surface and attempting to grasp the depth of God's love for us.

Nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of God. This means there will never be a time when God looks at us and decides we are out of the bounds of God's love. This however, does not mean that God accepts everything in our lives as okay. Love and acceptance are often coupled together, yet they should not be confused as the same.

We think about our daughters. We love them beyond our wildest imagination. At the same time their actions and words are not always acceptable. This does not change our love for them, in fact it often deepens our love. It is possible to love someone with your whole heart and not accept their words or actions. We learn this from Jesus. Jesus loved everyone, he did not accept everyone's actions and words.

A culture exists today where if you do not accept someone it is assumed you do not love them, or if you love someone you will accept whatever is happening in their life. This becomes a stumbling block for many relationships, especially marriage. Just because our spouse calls us to account on something, finds our behavior or words unacceptable, does not mean they have stopped loving us.

Quite the opposite, love is secure and caring enough to confront with grace and love rather than simply accept. The deepest form of love is found when we express love when we cannot accept the behavior or words of another. This is the love we find in God, the unfailing love that is impossible to forfeit. The unfailing love of God challenges and confronts with grace and compassion. The love of God and the acceptance of God are not the same thing, you always have the love of God, the acceptance is found in how we live our lives.

May the love in our marriages be unfailing. May it be strong enough to challenge and confront unacceptable behavior and words. May we live our lives in such a way that we are loved and accepted by God.

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