March 5, 2011

the discipline of love

several of you have asked if i was going to write any type of response to the current events here at harding, and what you are about to read is the answer to your question. i write with a complete spirit of love and pray that my words will touch your heart and help us all see a glimpse of the amazing love of GOD.

"delight yourself in the LORD and HE will give you the desires of your heart." psalm 37:4

ever since i was a little girl, i have known that one day i hope to be a wife and a mother. whether it was creating a glamorous wedding scene for barbie and ken or changing my baby doll's diaper, that desire has been instilled in me for as long as i can remember.

and i have worked hard to achieve that desire. i have been a dater now for a good 7 years and am pretty sure i'm about to go pro. i cannot count the number of first dates that i've been on at this point but could write a book using the stories. i've been praying for the man i one day hope to meet since the age of 5. i've made lists, read books, and more importantly read scripture trying to determine the qualities for which i should be looking. and i have been waiting patiently on the LORD to give me this desire of my heart.

and in my patient wait, i have remained pure. at 13 i made a promise to GOD to remain a virgin until the day i marry, and by HIS grace i have kept my promise. i didn't make that promise because i felt like HE would never forgive me if i messed up or because i don't fully accept HIS grace, but simply because it is what HE asked. and because of that commitment i made and the understanding that GOD wants me to save sex for marriage, while honoring my promise has been a challenge, it has never been a question. and i continually pray that HE will give me the strength to fulfill that and the other guidelines of discipline that he has set for my life.

i remember thinking as a little girl that when my parents disciplined me. when they gave me rules. when they gave me boundaries. when they told me no to certain things. that it meant they didn't love me. but as i grew up i realized that they gave me all of those things because they loved me. not to harm me but to bless me. not only because it was right but because it was best for me. and so it is with GOD.

because GOD loves me HE has made it clear that HE doesn't want me to lie. HE doesn't want me to steal. HE doesn't want me to kill anyone. HE doesn't want me to cheat. HE doesn't even want me to joke crudely. HE wants me to take care of my body. HE wants me to marry a boy. HE wants me to save sex for marriage. HE wants me to think about good things. not only because HE'S perfect. not only because HE'S jealous. but because HE wants what's best for me.

and that is the discipline of love. to give guidelines. to give rules. to give boundaries in order to give the best. to love someone so much that you put that person above yourself. and to see when the decisions he or she is making are not only not what GOD wants but essentially not what is best for that person.

sometimes i feel that when i love people i have to approve of and encourage everything that they do, but by definition that is not love. when we condone behavior that is clearly displeasing to the LORD, we are not loving GOD and certainly not loving the person whom we are condoning. love disciplines. love gives rules. love gives boundaries. love says no to certain things.

i have also noticed that every time i try to justify my own questionable behavior. every time i use or omit certain scriptures to my advantage. every time i try to create confusion or gray area, it is because i'm trying to please myself and not GOD. it is seeking my own desires above HIS. and it is ultimately loving myself more than loving HIM. and life is simply too short and heaven simply too wonderful to let any earthly, temporary, meaningless pleasure sabotage that perfect forever.

so with all of that being said, i continue to patiently wait on the LORD to fulfill my own, personal, earthly desire. to tell you that i don't question if and when it will happen would be to lie. i have remained faithful. i have remained pure. i have prayed on my knees. and yet still i wait. i deeply desire to one day be a wife. i deeply desire to one day be a mother. but above all. above everything else. above any great thing here on this earth. i desire to sit at the right hand of GOD. to take walks with HIM daily. and to enjoy every pleasure of heaven.

i realize that despite my faithfulness, that day may never come. i may never be married. i may never get to have sex. i may never get to hold my own child in my arms. and no amount of my faithfulness or goodness is ever going to grant me those desires. but my identity is not based on my marital status or my sexuality, nor is my happiness. i do not live a life of misery because that desire of my heart has not been filled. and while those things would be wonderful additions to my life, they do not define me. my happiness is dependent on the first part of the verse, not the second because my delight is in the LORD.

so i will continue to wait on the LORD while following in HIS footsteps. i will strive to do everything HE says and not put question marks where HE has clearly put periods just to achieve my own personal benefit. i will realize that no earthly pleasure will ever be worth the exchange of heaven. and if GOD never fulfills this one desire of my heart, i will remain disciplined and pure for life. because that is the discipline of love.

3 comments:

  1. You, my dear friend, have been a major influence and example in my life in the past and this post is a perfect outlining of why. I appreciate hearing your thoughts about this. Thank you for your beautiful spirit and truth-speaking. I love you!

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  2. Charissa,
    Once again, your deep faith and insight into "mankind" touch me. Bonnie

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  3. One of my favorite lines of your wonderful post: "and life is simply too short and heaven simply too wonderful to let any earthly, temporary, meaningless pleasure sabotage that perfect forever."

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