Monday, January 30, 2012

Extravagant Love!

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. -Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)

This verse absolutely SCREAMS at me. Let's read it again, especially that last part: "...His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that."

This weekend my oldest son went away with a group at church. When I picked him up, he talked and talked AND talked about his amazing weekend. I am sharing that information with you to try to explain just how much fun he obviously had. You see, Andrew is not a talker. He says what he needs to say in as few words as possible and throws in several jokes and smart comments like pepper throughout the day. For him to sit and talk to me (then repeat it at home with Shaun) must mean that he had the time of his life.

One of the things that he shared with us was the verse for the weekend. And it was the one I've shared with you here. In fact, this verse means so much to me that I think I'm finally going to do what so many Christians around me have done. I'm going to adopt a life verse.

But let's get onto the real reason you're reading this. Why this verse? What's so special about it?

It's easy to choose to love someone you deem "worthy" of your love. Your children, for example, are worthy of it, right? They fit the example of "extravagant love" very well. If you're like me, you want to give them the world and more. You'd lay down your life for them to save them from pain. When one of them is sad, you ache for them. When something awesome happens, like Andrew's exciting trip this weekend, you are excited right along with them! Yes, for the most part, children are easy to love.

But what about your childhood best friend who was so fun growing up and just can't seem to make the right choices now? Or your dad, who lets you down time and again? Or the neighbor next door who seems almost bipolar in her love/hate of you on a daily basis? Do you love them? Do they deserve "extravagant love" from us?

Yes! God doesn't offer up extravagant love only to those who have done something to deserve it! After all, NONE of us has done something to deserve it! He gives it freely and without bias. If we do as this verse says and imitate HIM, then we MUST do the same: give extravagant love to those in our lives that don't deserve it.

I'll end with this: it's easy to love someone who rewards you with something in exchange for it; it's much harder to love someone just because God has asked you to.


  1. Wow... this hits right at home. I am dealing with this issue and have been since I was 16. What about when you come to realize that the relationship might just be toxic and separation may be needed? I have studied my notes from past sermons at LCBC. I know we are to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who hurt you. (Flip Side 'Forgiveness/Revenge'-Jason Mitchell May 22/23 2010) Forgiveness is a process and a journey. You touched on 'the dad who lets you down time and again.' and 'the neighbor that seems bipolar with a love/hate relationship'. What does that love look like? Would you agree that some relationships are toxic? What does love look like when the relationship hasn't been reconciled?

  2. Beautiful Krisit! Don't know how you come up with such inspiring posts every day! I sense a power behind your words... that God has nudged you in this direction right now for a purpose. I'd like to hear what you have to say to Kimberly also, my thought is that it is OK to Love from afar. Loving someone and protecting oneself from an unhealthy relationship or energy are not mutually exclusive. Loving them does not mean that one has to then subject themselves to continued negativity or a bad situation. At the same time, it does not help us to heal, if we hold a negative/unloving intention or thought towards someone that harmed us.

  3. Thanks Aunt Penelope! You are so very supportive! :)

  4. Kim,

    To love extravagantly, even with those who hurt you time and again, doesn't mean you have to open yourself up to hurt from them again. One of the examples I used is from my actual life (though I won't say which one) and that love is tough. I have to daily make the choice not to dislike that person. I have to make the choice to not judge or do something that I know will drive them crazy simply because I can. With this person, I try to show them extravagant love by listening when they have something to say to me, checking my words carefully, praying for them and their life, etc. Am I perfect at it? Absolutely not! Have I screwed this up more than once? You betcha!

    What I do not do with this person is try to get too close or share things with them that they could use to hurt me later. Is that the right way to deal with it? I'm not sure. What I DO know is that I can't let this person continue to hurt me. That's not okay.

    So what I'm saying is, I guess the best way to show someone extravagant love that you don't feel deserves it AND who has hurt you to the point that the relationship is toxic (because there are absolutely TOXIC relationships!!!) is to just pray for them. You don't need to involve yourself in the life of a toxic person anymore than that, in my opinion. And remember, that's my opinion. Prayer is a great option for anything in your life, including the toxic things/people!

    Does that help? Or even make any sense? I'm just writing what I feel lead to share here...:)

  5. Yes, Kristi and Penelope both of your comments were helpful and encouraging. Now the hardest part, applying it to my life. :) Thank you both for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.