Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
Donna and I are going to celebrate our 51st anniversary this year. They have truly been wonderful years and my heart is to learn to love her more and more with each passing day.
But in the early 90s we went through a time of difficulty that could have ended our marriage. I loved Donna, or so I thought, except I was doing all kinds of things that were a mass of contradictions. I would tell her of my love, take her on dates and trips, buy her cards and flowers, help around the house, etc…
On the other hand, I would walk away from her when she was talking to me or just ignore her. I would lose my temper with her. My frustrations with work were taken out on her. My anger would flare and she got so she never knew when I was going to vent or even why. There was no infidelity or physical abuse – it was all thoughtlessness, carelessness and blindness on my part. All too often I was a real jerk. This all exploded out as my oldest son John and I were leaving for a few days on the Outer Banks. Fortunately, a Northeaster arrived just as we got there so I got to face this situation instead of fishing.
I have a notebook from that weekend with pages of things I was doing wrong – things that were communicating “I don’t love you!” These things were effectively undermining and obliterating all the good things I was doing that were speaking of my love. God in His goodness turned me every way but loose that weekend. He opened my eyes and let me see all the contradictions between my expressions of love and the actions of my life.
The Lord just did a wonder in me at the beach, and I needed it because I came home to a very hurting wife. Fortunately, our commitment to Jesus and to each other trumped everything. The Lord provided a marvelous Christian counselor who was priceless. Although it took months, the Lord brought us through. Our marriage wasn’t put back together – it was transformed – from a caterpillar to a butterfly!
This experience with Donna had a profound impact on my relationship with the Lord. It made me aware of how blind I could be – how my expressions of love could be negated by my actions. The good things I do being trumped by my sin – sin I could be blind to see.
Loving God is the most important thing we can ever do. We don’t want anything in our lives that undermines that. We want to love Him more and more. The marvelous thing is that the more we genuinely love Him, the more we experience His love for us.