When Love Looks Different
What if love looked different than we expect or imagine?
What if love is hard?
What if many don’t understand when love looks different?
When we plan to become parents, we have a flood of emotions, including excitement. Particularly as adoptive parents, because let’s face it, no one accidentally becomes an adoptive parent.
As parents, we have great expectations, hopes, dreams, and love for our children.
But what if:
the best way to love them isn’t the easiest way?
the scars of their past have left an impenetrable barrier to the heart?
our love isn’t enough to heal them?
we know there is One who can, but they can’t fathom it?
our tangible kindness causes a response of fear because it is foreign to them?
they don’t know how to give love back?
What if we love them so much we will do things radical, sacrificial, and misunderstood to help them heal?
What does a different kind of love look like?
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. John 13:26
Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, but it didn’t change His love for him.
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:20-21
Job had lost everything, and he still acknowledged God’s sovereignty and loved Him.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
God’s love for us is so great that He came down from glory in the form of a man (yet, completely God) and died for the sin of all mankind.
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:39-41
Jesus commands us to do the unthinkable ~ love those who wrong us.
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. Luke 5:13
Lepers were untouchable, yet Jesus touched the man because He loved him!
He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:4-6
This man who persecuted Christians was loved by God, chosen by God, and ultimately devoted his life to sharing that love!
Just a few examples of when love looks different.
I’m a long way from loving like Jesus does, but I am “being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16).
We are relying on the strength of the Holy Spirit as we love all our children, but especially one, in a way that looks different. Truth is, it’s hard. It’s lonely. It’s radical. I would say it’s a sacrifice, but can I really use that term after all that Christ has done for me?
Despite all of that, it is good! We have hope! Not because we always make the right decisions, but because God never makes mistakes. We are standing firm on His promises and watching expectantly as He brings healing and victory to our child!
God alone brings beauty from ashes – from the ashes of our mistakes, our sin, our pain, and our sorrow.
And that is a very different kind of love.
Connie and Clayton Johnson and their family live in Oklahoma. Coming to faith later in life (Clayton at age 40 and Connie at age 36), they surrendered to missions soon after accepting Christ but had no idea that would mean seven trips to China…and back. They have ten children, and are open to whatever the Lord has in store for them next. Connie hopes to encourage families who feel less than qualified to adopt and families who are burdened for older children and children with medical special needs outside their comfort zone. God does not expect us to come to Him perfectly equipped for His purposes, only perfectly willing. Visit their blog One More Ladybug.
Please join us on our new Facebook page to see posts as soon as they are published and find other helpful information as well as to be connected to our community.