Monday, February 9, 2015

When Love Is Deeply Sweet

They had been together through the thick parts of life. 

The two had fallen in love with the idea of each other and what life might look like together. 

They bought a house and a dog and had some children and they all lived on a nice street.

They had good careers and a promising future. 

As life does, hard days came and they suffered great loss and lived through deep trials.
These things could have destroyed them, but instead this couple dug in and set deep roots. They had commitment. They grew in their faith. Even in the harshness of different seasons, there was hope. 

As time has gone, our lives have criss-crossed.

We've always enjoyed them, but recently as they sat across from us at the table, there was something different about these friends.

A deep sweetness that cannot be manufactured, a oneness which was so beautiful and so tangible, we wanted to draw closer to them and hang on every word.

At first I wondered if it was this seasoned grace that comes in a marriage that has endured life and failed expectations and weight gain and hair loss. Because there is just something deep about couples and people in general, who have lived long enough to know that life doesn't work out like the plan in your head or all the energy that you expend to make your every-thing amazing.


What they had was something much more profound than that. There was a tenderness in how they were with each other. The way they looked at one other. The way one spoke and reached to touch the others hand. As if longing to be closer, yet they were already just one.

And they were so honoring in every word that came forth.

Not that they had to be careful or guarded. In fact it was their gentleness and ease, the love and respect, and a deepness that can only come when there is real surrender and understanding of what love really looks like.

And though the course of honest conversation it became evident what it was we were drawn to.

One shared how just that a few years ago, they had come to understand that the way they treated their spouse, wasn't really what love looked like. They went on to say, they didn't love their spouse like Jesus would have them love. In fact, the one said, that they had missed the true heart of the other.

And they didn't have to tell us that things had changed because their love? —It was palpable.

Words were not needed really. It was so obvious that they had something fresh. Something deep and sweet in their relationship.

A real yielding of self, an honest giving of themselves to each other.

In the falling apart there was a falling together. And the result was a blessing of acceptance, respect and being cherished, in the imperfectness of all of life.

No control. In fact it was more like out-of-control abandon!

Theirs was a deeper surrender and a radical freedom to really live.

What they had is what the world longs for, but most don't know it, because we have been sold something about love that isn't even real.

You see, love costs us something. 

Love sacrifices self. 

That right there? Not a popular message.

And real love is heavenly-minded, not me-minded.

Love transforms.

When true love seeps into the recesses of our hearts there will be a sweetness that cannot be produced or explained.

Love is not distracted or annoyed. It gives up the rights and the clinging to being wronged.

Love cherishes and respects and gives itself away to the other.

And love is present.

As in, turning off the television and the computers and the phones.

Love is the beginning, the middle and the end —of all things.

Love is the key to the deepest things in all of life.

And while all around us there are couples scratching and striving to get ahead, the most missed thing?

Love is the greatest currency we have.

True love.... it looks like service.

Too often we demand to be served instead of giving ourselves away to serve the other.

And love isn't about never having conflict. Love is in how we resolve it.

The deepest secret to finding real love?

It is simply to know the One who is Love.


I used to think you had to be something special to be loved. Now, I know that we are loved, because He is love, but we have to stop making big plans for ourselves and start being Gods plan to love others.

And the truth is, when we really love, we find all the things we were ever looking for.

We find our God-created identity.

This couple that I've told you about? I love that they stayed committed through all the years and kept hope in the trials, and established faith in the hard parts. But their greatest testimony is the tender love that their lives reflect now, in the serving of each one, to the other.

That is the kind of  love that will leave a greater legacy. A legacy that will reach far beyond themselves.

We can each live that way too. All we have to do is start today, right where we are.

Ask Jesus what that might look like.


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© Rhonda Quaney