Intentional love

Today is a special day: it is my husband’s birthday and it is also the first Sunday in Advent.

Also significant is that it is the anniversary of when my husband started pursuing me romantically. He was a Mr. Darcy type, so our story brings much laughter and delight when we reminisce. He went from cold to hot overnight—one day telling me that he would never be interested in dating me and then telling me days later that he couldn’t imagine me walking down the aisle with anyone else.a3I always tell people that God used Aaron to help me understand the nature of God’s unconditional love for me. You see, Aaron didn’t see me across a crowded room and have a burning desire to kiss me madly. He didn’t ask around our friends to find out who I was because I was so gorgeous and amazing. No, he made a conscious decision to love me (after prayer and seeking counsel). And he has never stopped since, his love growing daily.a2In the same way, I didn’t attract God’s attention by my morality or lack thereof. My talent or sad story or desperation didn’t catch his eye. He didn’t say to Gabriel, “Hey, look at that curly headed gal—she seems neat. I should get to know her!”

On the contrary, God knew me before I was born, created me, knit me together in my mother’s womb. He created me to love him. He created me to have a relationship with him. I didn’t earn his love. I didn’t earn his salvation. Instead, God decided that he was going to love me because he decided to love me. Then he pursued me, wooed me, engaged my heart.

And because it was nothing I did that convinced God to love me, I never have to worry that something I do will convince God to stop loving me. I have hope in God’s love, and it brings me peace and joy this Advent.

My question is, how can I show intentional love to others this Christmas season?a1

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