Here on Valentine’s Day, I’m sitting at my parents’ house, enjoying USA’s love movie marathon. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days…Sweet Home Alabama…The Break Up (note how they progressively get sadder as the evening goes on).

Since my handsome husband and adorable little boy are half way around the world, I’ve obviously been thinking about them a lot. They are both really, really great. Jake is a wonderfully amazing husband and father. And Asante is an energetic, inquisitive, loving little boy. It’s on a day like this that I realize God’s love for me that’s expressed through these two boys/men.

So what is love? A question that’s over-discussed in some ways, and under-discussed in others. My understanding of love changed when I got married (and every year since), and then again as I had a child. I feel that my heart has gotten bigger in some ways…how in the world could I grow in this ability to love if not for that?

Love is unselfish. Love doesn’t care where in the world you are, as long as you’re near those you love and who love you. I used to think of 1 Corinthians 13 as prescriptive. If I really love someone, I need to follow those verses on what love is. But I think it’s more descriptive…as you grow to love better and deeper, those characteristics are what better defines what love looks like.

I love Jake tremendously. I’d do anything for him. And you know, the reasons I love him today are somewhat different than the reasons I “fell in love” with him my freshmen year of college 7 years ago. It’s deeper, more complicated, more intense. [this will be another post]

I realize that as I grow in my relationships with people, I lose more of myself. I change. And most days I like that; some days I don’t. As Jake and I approach 4 years of adventurous marriage, we’ve become more alike. I care about some different things than I used to. I gave up some things I used to love. So did Jake. My time is spent on people and things that maybe I otherwise wouldn’t have chosen. But it’s good. As we’ve grown in our relationship, we’ve really become more and more “one”. Which I think is beautiful, and perfect. Just what the Lord intended. And I think what the Lord desires for all of us, as we grow in community with others. That we’d all be one as the Father and Jesus are one. And I think sometimes we try and resist that in our relationships…whether that be with our husbands/wives, friends, children, parents, or community-members. We love our uniqueness and individuality … but often times at the cost of unity.

My challenge to all of us to allow ourselves to be transformed. By our relationship with Jesus, our relationships with significant others, and friends, and community. Discover yourself as you relate to your community.

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