Loving Hard

The house I bought after my divorce was a real fixer-upper. One of the many projects I tackled was to redo the landscaping in the front yard. It was a mess. One part of the project was to literally scrape the sod off the lawn and transplant it to where I had removed a tree…in August…in Georgia. It was hot, sweaty, hard work.

Hard work tends to be highly valued because it is recognized as providing many benefits, including the formation of the worker. We are proud of ourselves when we work hard. We feel good.

What about loving hard? Do we look at the super-duper effort we put into loving others with the same esteem as we look at hard work? Probably not. We tend to associate love with warm and fuzzy feelings. We don’t typically describe love as arduous, difficult, or even work.

Yet, that is often what is required in life, especially after divorce. We must decide to love, even when we don’t want to. Love can be just as difficult and arduous as manual labor.

Loving hard is what you do when you offer to help your former spouse with the kids — even when it’s not your weekend. Loving hard is biting your tongue and not taking the bait when your former spouse tries to goad you into an argument. Loving hard is sitting with your former in-laws at your kid’s soccer game AND being pleasant. Loving hard is wishing your former spouse a happy birthday. Loving hard is forgiving the unforgivable.

Our ultimate model for loving hard is Jesus Christ. His love for us resulted in Him voluntarily being nailed to a cross and dying for our sins. If that is not loving hard, I don’t know what is. This is good to remember the next time you are called on to love hard.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

Originally posted 2018-04-19 00:30:23.

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