Read His Words Before Ours!
In 2010, Disney released “Tangled” and it immediately took my personal favorite spot over Aladdin (although I think Cinderella still might win by just a little). The girl with gorgeous, long hair and an incredible voice, forced to live her entire life hidden away in a castle only to sneak away and become entranced with a charming, but thieving, outlaw drew me in from the start. In the end, when the handsome-outlaw turned kind-hero suffers a fatal injury with the only means of survival being Rapunzel’s healing hair, the story took a twist that stuck with me. Using her hair to heal Flynn meant Rapunzel would forever be enslaved to the wicked Gothel, who used Rapunzel for her healing powers. In an unforeseen act of altruism, Flynn proved his love by cutting Rapunzel’s hair with a shard of glass, thus breaking the power of her magical hair and setting her free from the chains of Gothel.
It meant his death, but her life.
He chose her life over his in a moment’s notice.
The battle for her heart was won by his selfless love.
Going to seminary was not as dreamy and magical as I thought it would be. Rather than drawing us close in the way I’d envisioned, the time commitment of classes and full-time work for my husband, the tiny living quarters, 3 small children, being pregnant, and homeschooling, were all the ingredients we needed for an intense pressure cooker for our marriage.
The bottom dropped out for us and we were left falling headlong towards divorce.
We were in a battle, and we were losing.
Seminary was my husband’s dream since before we even met. His passion for ministry and shepherding people has had his heart for years.
One afternoon, in the middle of our mess of a marriage at seminary, he came to me.
Quiet, but confident.
“I’m leaving seminary,” he said. “I don’t know if I will ever go back, but I’m choosing us no matter what.”
For anyone who knows my husband, you know that he quits nothing and succeeds at everything. Whatever he decides to do, he does it well.
But he left seminary.
He packed up the bags of his dreams and walked away without looking back.
And in so doing, he set me free.
Free to see his love.
Free to believe his love.
Free to trust him.
Wars are costly.
Battles are expensive.
But choosing not to fight for freedom, has a far higher price tag.
Saying yes to our marriage, meant saying no to his dream.
Spending ourselves for another is the core of the type of love that Jesus calls us to.
Christ’s example of love isn’t a “pat on the back, here’s some change from my purse, I wish you well” kind of love.
It’s much more radical.
Much more extravagant.
It’s love that says,
“I’ll give you my time,
here is my money,
here is my house,
I’m willing to move,
I’m willing to give away what is mine,
here’s my vacation time,
here are my talents,
Here. Is. My. Life.”
“By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another.” John 13:35
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
These are the words from the lips of a man who laid aside glory for the opportunity to offer real,
L I F E
to those who were utterly stuck in their sin, had done nothing to love him,
and everything against him.
You and me.
His is a love that far eclipses anything we could do.
Yet He gave.
And He calls us to do the same.
How could we not?
Pause here with me, Sisters. What faces play across your mind’s eye now?
Who needs you to fight for them?
That girl who sits alone?
That women in the office who acts like a snob?
She who you’ve always excluded?
She who is hurting so deeply and you know it, but you’re afraid to get too close?
She who doesn’t know Christ, but fear holds you back from sharing the gospel?
Your own children who either utterly depend on you or have spurned you?
The hungry child in Zambia?
The homeless family in Houston?
The family whose race doesn’t match yours, but you’ve ignored?
This life you’ve been gifted…what will you do with it?
You, beautiful daughter, are loved deeply enough that a King stepped from His throne to fight for you in the mess of your everyday.
How will you steward that love?
Name that person that the Spirit is laying on your heart to fight for,
pick up your sword,
and give your life away to
fight for them!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!