Many years ago, before we'd even begun dating, Clay called to invite me on a surprise adventure. He wouldn't tell me anything about his plans for the day, but I soon found myself seated in a darling Polish restaurant complete with a costumed waitress, beautiful woven tapestries on the walls, and carved figurines about the room. I was delighted at his efforts to find such a special place for us, as I'd spent many years as a missionary in Poland. Afterward, as we drove home, he pulled over to a lovely spot next to a bubbling stream. And then he began a speech I'll never forget.
"'I used to make lists of the qualities I hoped to one day find in a wife,' he said. 'But one day when I was reading my Bible, I realized that God's love for us isn't conditional, because of what we've done to please Him. He gives us His love freely because His nature is to love generously. So I decided that when I get married, God would want me to be committed to love a woman someday, not because she's perfect, but because she's someone God has called me to love unconditionally and to give my life to, no matter what. So I threw away my list and asked God to show me how to develop that kind of generous love He has given to me. But I'm not coming to you because you meet all the expectations I once had on my list. I want you to know that out of all of the women I've met, I think I would love to be committed to give my love, as best I can, unconditionally to you, and to spend my life with you, giving to you as God has given to me.'
I was so surprised by his words! All my life I felt that I had lived with conditional love. I had spent so much time and energy trying to do the right thing in order to be loved. But here he was, saying that he wanted to be committed to loving me unconditionally in an act of faith and commitment; he wanted to model in our relationship the kind of love he had received and experienced from God. It was such a purehearted gift.
My heart overflowed with gratefulness and a natural responsive love. How could I not respond that way?"~ Dancing With My Father
As God romances my heart and I remember the man who swept me off my feet (and still does so) I'm reminded of His unconditional love.
It is always wooing, always drawing, always whispering to me of His beauty and wisdom, causing my heart to want to respond to Him well. The ways He deals with me in kindness are my daily lessons in how to relate to the others He's so graciously placed in my life.
Whom, I wonder, might He want to love through me today?
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