I wanted to do something special for my wife, Mary Ann. I started to go through all the “normal” things that normal husbands normally do.
But, as you have probably guessed by now, I’m not in that “normal” category. Not by a longshot.
So, because I know she likes cookies, I started thinking about what kind of cookies to make. My favorite are huge, thick, and gooey chocolate cookies. They have to be underdone to assure that gooey, chewy feeling in my mouth. There should also be lots, and lots, and lots of both dark and white chocolate chips.
But then the strangest thought came into my head. Was I making these cookies for myself or for Mary Ann? And since I knew the answer to that question was Mary Ann, another thought came into my head.
Since I was making cookies for Mary Ann, I needed to make cookies that she likes. Making them the way she likes.
The simple answer is that small and brown sugar cookies are far and away Mary Ann’s favorite cookies.
Now if you compare Mary Ann’s favorite cookies to mine, you quickly come to the conclusion that it’s almost the exact opposite. I want them huge, underdone, and chewy. She likes them small and cooked till they are brown and crispy.
So, I was on the horns of a dilemma. What cookies to make and how to bake them? The answer came quickly – make them the way Mary Ann likes best.
But why? Why should I give up my preferences? My rights? What I know to be best? The answer is really simple.
Love. Love wants the best for the other person. Love accepts the other person. Love defers what we want and willingly does what the other person wants.
And that leads us to hope. You see, if I just did what I wanted, then there’s very little hope for myself or our relationship. But because of love, I deeply desire to do what pleases the other person. And that gives us lots of hope.
Could it be the same as our relationship with God? I don’t think He’s looking for us to reluctantly or resentfully to do what He wants. He’s looking for us to respond to his loving us. Giving us life. Saving us. And this response says something like this.
Dear God. You are love. You love me. You made me. You died for me. So, I want to respond to your love through a soft heart that loves you in return. Doing what you tell me to do.
Now, that kind of response sure fills me with hope. I know that it will do the same for you.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:16