About a month ago some friends as well as myself went to LifeChurch in Oklahoma City. AWEOME church. The pastor there was preaching on the topic of relationships, mainly marriage, in which the whole series was entitled "The Vow". Considering i'm not in a relationship, let alone married, I figured this testimony wouldn't apply to me but as usual my assumptions came back to slap me in the face.
Phil Munsey led the sermon to an important aspect that everyone should know and hear at least once. Most people think that a relationship should be mutual, which isn't entirely false but can lead to some big and shaky arguments. When a married couple goes to counseling a good majority of the problem is that "they won't do their part". I mean they should both put equal amounts on the table right? "Well i'll do my part if she does hers" or "If he would just contribute we wouldn't be like this". Phil explained that maybe the one implying that the other wasn't doing their part wasn't entirely doing theirs either. Best way to explain is that it comes down to showing love. Agape love.
Agape love is a love that is selfless and doesn't look for something in return. A love that gives and gives and gives and gives but is indifferent to whether or not it is returned. This love is hard to give because of the society we have been raised in. We think that we should reap what we sow. You give then i'll give. Why's this? It's simple. Heartbreak. No one wants to be heartbroken. Everyone's been heartbroken, including myself, and it's not fun. So to save us from this hearbreak we put out only the amount the other person gives so if one splits no one walks away saying, "I put too much into it." Honestly I can't blame anybody for doing this but ultimately it's not what we're called to do. We're called to show the love of Christ. The Agape Love.
Paul gave an example of a couple that went to counseling and when asked what's the problem, the guy answered, "She doesn't respect me! I give and give and give and she just takes and takes and takes! She just doesn't respect me!" To which the counselor replies, "Do you give her a reason to respect you?" Paul explains that if we be the people we're supposed to be, the loving selflessly giving ones, then we'd get the respect we deserve and who knows...the other person might change. But again no one should expect anything in return because why? It's an Agape Love.
See when people get the taste of that love it's like feeding stray dogs...they're always coming back for more. "The Hunger for Love is much more difficult to remove than the Hunger for Bread." But the thing to get past is not expecting anything in return. It's hard. Real hard. Because we put ourselves out there to get hurt. To be vulnerable. To be heartbroken. And from experience it's not fun to go through. "The Heart is the only broken instrument that works." So how do we get past it and show this Agape Love? To put it bluntly we suck it up and remember that's what Jesus did. He loved People whether They loved Him back. I mean what's the worst scenario for us? We put ourselves out there. They either don't want any part of it or just take what you give. Does that compare to loving people unconditionally then having them turn against you and putting nails through your hands and feet?
It's time that love was shown and not just said. But hey I still get it. Neither you or me wants to get hurt again. We want to play it safe. We want to give only what's BEEN given. We want it to be on an equal square.
But what if Jesus did that? Then where would we be?