Deliberate Choice

We sat in the dark theatre unable to clearly see even the seats directly in front of us. The movie screen was as high as the ceiling and the surround sound helped me immerse in the happenings of the moment.  I sat giving the movie my undivided attention. I watched with intensity and bated breath. Before long, I felt as if I knew each character personally and somehow had become a part of their lives.  I found myself sharing in their experiences, wishing the best for them and hoping they would overcome whatever tragedy, misfortune or heartbreak they would encounter.

One of my most favorite movies is The Notebook, an achingly tender love story centered on an older man who regularly visits an older woman in an elderly nursing facility. During these regular visits, the man reads to the woman – real life accounts – from an old faded notebook. The story he reads spans over decades of loyalty and devotion.  It is not known immediately, but eventually, the story identifies the older man as the husband of the older woman to whom he spends his days reading pieces of their life together from this old journal notebook. The husband hopes that sooner or later the wife will remember – and recognize that he is still there – to love her as he always had.notebook

Every time I watch The Notebook I fall in love with the love Noah has for Allie.

Our longing to be loved or to love stretches far beyond a two-hour movie. Love has inspired some of the best big screens, songs, poems and books. It has broken hearts, set emotions raging, and been the blame of countless – good and not so good – decisions. But, it is the love found in 1Corinthians 13 that, so often, I find my struggle. It is within these passages that God gives Paul to describe “a love that is based on the deliberate choice of the one who loves rather than the worthiness of the one who is loved”. It is here, in verse 7, “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” that I find goes against all natural human dispositions. Not to mention – being totally unreachable.

Then, I grasp there is a spiritual component to this type of love that makes it attainable. It is not I who live, but it is Christ that lives in (and through) me. That it is in Him I move and live and have my being . That this life I live, I live by faith , in the One who gave the real life picture of a real life love. For it was Christ who demonstrated a love based on deliberate choice. I – in all my own rightness – was totally unworthy of even His smallest jester of kindness towards me.

Thought to Ponder:

As long as you and I, imperfect women, are married to imperfect men, there will be a moment, a day, a time, or maybe even a season, when our husbands are not considered by us as worthy. “But this love described by Paul in this “love chapter” means determining what is best for the other person and then doing it. This is the kind of love God shows to us”.  A deliberate choice.

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