Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Talk Tuesday - 7 years… what I learned from my wife about love.

My wife and I celebrated our 7th Anniversary yesterday. We have been together for almost 10 years. God has been good to us. He gave me the desires of my heart and I am so blessed to be married to her. Everyone that knows her says that she is such a loving and caring person. Most of you know that she brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to me. When I first met her she was not a Christian but when she came back into my life she was so transformed that I had to find out more about this Jesus she knew.

She lives the love of Christ. From children to the young at heart, Tash loves people with the love of Jesus. What I really want to talk to you about is showing love when people treat you badly. It is easy to treat people good when they treat you good but it is hard when they treat you badly. On one occasion, Tash was treated badly by a grumpy person and all Tash did was give that person love. I was mad and the first thing I wanted to do was tell her off, but Tash calmed me down. When the person came back she was as nice as pie to Tash. The scripture from 1 Peter 4:8 came to mind:

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

We never know what a person is going through, if they had a hard day or even a hard life. Jesus says:

You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
—Matthew 5:38-42

Love concurs all. When we love like Christ we can see hurting people healed, sadness turned to joy and faith restored. So today, who do you need to show love to? Is it your dad, your spouse, or the person at work? Take the time to show love this week to someone who has treated you badly and tell us what happened. Remember,"love covers a multitude of sins."

Share with us how you have seen this scripture play out in your life.


Cassandra Rattan said...

I just want to say how I truly believe your statement. God showers us with so much love and I believe that we should try to return that gift in our interaction with others even though they maynot behave in a similar manner. In reading this I can attest to the person that Natasha is,she is quite loving and cheerful. Congratulations on your anniversary and I wish you many more and that you will continue to grow with God's grace. Love is a remarkable thing and I only hope that everyone can find that kind of love and hold on to it....God bless you guys....Luv Cassandra

Andrew said...

Thanks Cassandra. We love you. If you put your faith in Jesus, He will give you the best.

Tash said...

Thanks Cassie for your kind words and blessings. God is faithful and He loves us so much that He gave us His only Son. God's love has the power to heal our every wound. He is faithful.

Anonymous said...

How do you love someone, be it someone at work, at home,a spouse, that continues to hurt you over and over again? How do you develop that level of depth required for unconditional love?

Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous who asks how do love someone who hurts you over and over again? I don't know.

I used to be able to hold a grudge for many years. It was like a stone in my heart that I would hold, turn over and over and think about often, and have always struggled w/ the concept of 'turning the other cheek': a terribly hard ask.

I'm sure now that we will always think the task is impossible, if we were to do this in our own strength, especially w/ pride and vanity in the way.

Now, I handle these situations by 'giving it to God' - so I ask God first for his forgiveness (for my initial reactions aren't so stellar), and then tell God to please take the situation: to bathe it in His Love, and then I pray for the other person and for me. I ask God to help me forgive; to understand there must be underlying issues that I don't know about, to be patient and endure. It's not easy, but each time I start to 'hate' (in any situionat) I pray again. It's a process for me, and I can testify that I am now very friendly with a few former arch enemies.

I lost a good friend this year. I still don't know if it was something I specifically did or said. It hurts so much not to know or to be given the chance to make ammends. I know I was the only Christian in her life, and maybe it's because she's really unhappy w/ God - I don't know.

I still love her. And pray for her and her family.

Anonymous 2

Beloved said...

Congratulations Tash and Andrew on your seventh anniversary! I found a wedding picture from a T&T newspaper that my mom had cut out and sent me some time back, and had to smile from ear to ear. May God continue to keep you and help you persevere and be a testimony in this age where marriage is often not held in honour in our generation and among youth as it once was.

Yesterday I read a post on a website I regularly visit, on some truths we should focus on when we have spiritual battles ... and it included one that really spoke to me ... God's word promises that He will address those who hurt us. Here was an excerpt:

God is merciful to me.
God is my refuge.
God hears my cry.
God has a purpose for me, and will fulfill that purpose.
God will personally send help to save me.
God will shame those who hurt me.
God will send his steadfast and faithful love directly into what's going on.
God's steadfast love and faithfulness overarch and fill everything.

That really speaks to our need to surrender our feelings to God, as Tash and Anonymous 2 and others have said, and to trust Him with the hurt. It kind of feels good to read that God will "shame" those who hurt me! He does say that He will put our enemies to shame (e.g. Psalm 44:7)... but as I walked to work, I was reminded that the same holds true for me ... that when I intentionally hurt another person, I will reap as I've sown and be put to shame in some way as well as a consequence if I don't repent.

I have found that as I continue to pray for a person who is hurtful to me, and to act nicely towards them in spite of their behaviour towards me, treating each day as a new day, in many cases (not always) the person softens somewhat. (As Andrew described it, the person who was mean to Tash was "nice as pie" afterwards.) Only God knows if it is a "surface" softening or a genuine softening, but I take it as a blessing from God and trust Him to continue working until there is a true change. God is faithful ... He understands rejection and hurt ... goes through it every day as various souls harden their hearts against Him and reject Him in spite of His love and pursuit of their love.

Thanks for this reminder ... it will help me to try to put this into practice and share any new testimonies that come about as a result.

Blessed said...

Congratulations to Natasha and Andrew on their sterling achievement. May God continue to bless you richly and allow you to reach the ends of the earth with your ministry. Through your work, may others know that He lives and that He is worthy of all praise, honour and thanksgiving.

Galatians 2: 20 (King James version) says "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

If Jesus loved me enough to give His life for me, in spite of my many faults, then I too am called upon to show love, even to those I think don't deserve love from me. When we speak about love in the agape sense, we need to associate it with the act of forgiveness.

On a personal level, I have always felt myself to be bountiful when it comes to loving others. However, according to my observation, acts of love and kindness are often viewed as signs of weakness, and often result in the proverbial "knife in the back". As a Christian, I aim to share the inner peace I feel from knowing that my God loves me and holds my hand. However, it hurts when others knowingly hurt me. Although I aim to love unreservedly, my defense mechanism kicks in when I can no longer tolerate the pain. When I ask God to help me to love, I therefore also ask him to help me to forgive.

Glen Beard said...

Beautiful Andrew...and Congratulations! Also remember that 'Love conquers all'...I'm sure you concur!
Glen B.