When Love is too Hard

"To love another person is to see the face of God."
- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

The selfishness of this world, and of myself, astounds me. In the morning I wake up and think, "I don't want to do this. I'm so tired.  I don't feel well.  I didn't sleep much.  I, I, I..."  When I get in the car I hear the lyrics of a song, "got to be true to myself..." Then I see the disgusting news that a human monster is on trial for killing babies born alive in the most gruesome of ways, because millions of women get pregnant when they don't want to and selfishly decide they have the power to brutally end the life of another human being. Babies!  Did I really just read about that?  How is that legal, acceptable, mainstream in this world?  I digress...

Or how about that couple that is getting divorced because they "just don't love" each other anymore.  What kind of love is that?  A selfish kind.

Yesterday I realized that I love others selfishly.  Even my own husband and children.  Most of the time I'm living my days just waiting for nap time, when I won't have to deal with poop, picky eating, constantly repeated phrases and questions, and whining.  When I'm not living for nap time, I'm living for the evening or the weekend when my husband is home so I can have a break.  So I can sleep.  So I can watch that show I've been dying to watch. So I can exercise.  So I, I, I....

(I'm not saying there's anything wrong with breaks from children.  We all need them for sanity's sake.  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with sleep.  We all need sleep so we can be healthy.  But what I am saying is that living for another time, a time when it gets to be all about me, is selfish.  That's the hard truth!)

I have been feeling particularly down lately, and I looked to God's Word for comfort.  The verse of the day on my YouVersion Bible Ap was Ephesians 5:1-2 : "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."

At first I just glanced at the verse.  But then I decided to read it again.  The words Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice resonated deep inside me.  He gave himself up.  He made himself an offering and a sacrifice.  If I am to be an imitator of God, which is what I ultimately strive for, then I have to love my children like He loves me.  Walking in love means giving myself up for my children, husband, family, and friends.  It means that I sacrifice what I want and what I think I need to make sure that they are taken care of first.

There are those out there who will disagree with me.  That's fine.  Your walk with God is your own.  But for me, one who is selfish to the core, the lesson that I had to learn is that even when love is hard, I have to do it.  Even when I feel like I have no strength, no energy, nothing left, I have to do it.  Even when it's not fuzzy, doesn't feel good, isn't popular, I have to do it.  Even when I feel like I'm alone in it, I have to do it.

I will have time to myself.  I will have time to connect with other adults.  I will have time to rest and rejuvinate.  But for now I have to get down on the floor and play puzzles for the 400th time, change soiled underwear from a failed potty training attempt, feed that restless baby more than once in the middle of the night, and still find the energy to hug, kiss, and rub Neosporin on wounded knees.

Today I asked God to teach me how to love His way.  Not the selfish way that I always have.  The sacrificial way.  I want to be like Him, because it's only when I'm like Him that being a mom is truly fulfilling.  Being like Him means loving till it hurtsAfter all, just look at what He did for us on the cross.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it.
The hard... is what makes it great."

-Jimmy Dugan, A League of Their Own



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