"If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn't love others, I would be nothing" (I Cor. 13:2 NLT).
Love is complicated. Some women have difficult marriages. Some have children with complex problems, and some of us came from fractious families in childhood that left thick scars. Most women experience complexity in love relationships. If love hurts, what is loves purpose in the first place? God's purpose is to love one-another no matter what. However, the unkind person is hard to love without the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Love is a decision.
Pondering: Is it arrogance or innocence to define love from a woman's point-of-view? Women tend to create love labels and place the burden of such labels on those we love. How do we define the rules of the road in relationships? Perhaps it is easier to put people in neat little packages according to our frame-of-reference. Childhood experience builds layer upon layer of learning, whether positive or negative, forming our perspective. Our perspective becomes our definition of love. The question is... did we build our perspective on sand or an eternal foundation of stone? Human love is a mystery filled with ambiguity. Since woman tend to create a unique perspective of love based on childhood experiences, we need to move carefully with our point-of-view until it is formed by heaven.
What if your spouse, diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, changes into someone unrecognizable? Does your perspective of him change? How would you feel if you caught your teen-aged son in multiple lies, or your daughter secretly dating a young man you forbid her to see? Do you love your children any less, or does love become a decision rather than based on the emotions of our unique perspective. It is impossible to impose guarantees on human love because human love is fallible and changes; God's love never changes.
Coaching: The first stage in a new Christian life is that of a spiritual child with the reassurance and guarantee of God's love, eternal life, and the new delight of knowing forgiveness. The second stage is a transitional struggle and development. A strengthening and holy perspective begins to evoke spiritual growth a new faith in the soul of a woman through studying God's Word, and allowing the victory-of-prayer to provide instruction on how to wear love; dressing in God's protective armor (Eph. 6). The third part is to fall back into childhood; leaving the natural woman's perspective behind. There is a childlike trust in Christ that springs into an assurance not naivete' or inexperience, nor vulnerability... on the contrary. Women enter into a deep knowledge of love through a collective wisdom that serves God's purpose. God's Word and the discipline of prayer open a door to fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Inevitably, this fellowship leads to a mighty and immeasurable falling-in-love with Jesus; like childish abandon.
Maturity brings along a peaceful dependence on God that surrounds us like a warm comfortable coat, or going to a place where we feel protected, peaceful, and safe in love. We become full by feasting on an intrinsic precept sensing the purpose of collective wisdom, a holy-wisdom that comes to live within us through receptive and discerning insight into the lost and hurting; the unloved. When we see through the eyes of the lost and hurting we are ready to begin understanding how much God loves us. We learn to choose wisdom in our approach to those that need prayer and a non-judgmental friendship. The more childlike we become in spirit the quicker collective wisdom in the Word becomes clear. She (wisdom) becomes a trusted old friend. The purpose of love is to serve others through the heart and eyes of Christ. Putting others in neat packages only serves to limit them. When we mature in Christ our perspective reflects His. We can learn profound lessons from the collective wisdom of ancient women in the Scriptures. Practical suggestion are in the "Wisdom Books" such as Job, Psalms, and Proverbs. The early Scriptures demonstrate God's examples of how to handle difficult love mandating we enter a childlike trust and faith in Him. Otherwise, how can we love those that appear unkind? Wise women in the Bible saw through the eyes of God's love, in real-life dramas. Faith in a world where everyday complexity calls for practical wisdom is born from a trusting confidence found only in Jesus Christ, even if our spouse is unkind or our children are dishonest we can love them by deciding too, and by allowing them to see wisdom in us through the Scripture.
"Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice? On top of the heights beside the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand" (Proverbs 13:1-2 NASB).
Challenge: This week's challenge is to get alone with lady-wisdom in God's Word and think about what she is telling you concerning God's purpose in the difficulties you are experiencing. What purpose is there in a difficult child, an unkind loved-one, or a problematic co-worker? The purpose is to learn God's will. Wisdom calls, like the love song of a virtuous woman, offering her collective arms of comfort. Go with her and see through the eyes and heart of a child as you search the Scriptures for a deeper understanding of God's eternal love for His creation. If you decide to love through the eyes of the lost, you will love through wisdom's collective purpose.