I am learning about love and what it should look like. After taking a long journey down an undesired path several years ago, I am cautious about opening up my heart to others. Many will agree that we need to be cautious about opening up our hearts to others. Even in Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) it states “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
But I wonder, will I be able to receive or show love when I am so cautious and closed?
We certainly cannot open up our hearts and inner souls to every passer-by. But if someone comes into our lives with whom we share a special connection, do we still encase our heart??
I believe that everything happens in stages. Flinging open the recesses of your heart without reserve is to ask to be hurt repeatedly. Cautiously pushing against the doors, peering around the exterior and possibly pulling your head back in are perfectly normal and acceptable. When you look out again and notice that feelings of dread are absent and you have prayed your brains out and there is peace – plus your mentors are nodding their heads in approval, well, you can cautiously begin to open up your heart.
I’ve also heard that real love is not supposed to hurt.
Let me say that I somewhat disagree. Real love is not abusive. Hitting, punching and making hurtful comments that insult and destroy is NOT love. In that case I agree that love should not hurt.
But real love will hurt. As we get out of our comfort zones, we will hurt. As we shed the hard exterior we have walked around with as an encasing, we will hurt. As we fear the worst (because of earlier negative experiences), we will hurt. But as real, godly love unfolds, the fear, dread and pain is replaced by peace and freedom!
As love matures even more, shedding ulterior and selfish motives will hurt. Facing the truth about who we REALLY are (and not what we’ve been led to believe about ourselves all this time) will hurt. Setting aside pride and “what we want” will hurt. Giving of ourselves to help someone else will hurt at times.
Real Love’s growing pains will hurt.
And as two become closer to being one, the pain of merging into one voice, one mind and one purpose HURTS.
Real Love Hurts.
Jesus Christ, the One Who came to earth because of His unending love for all of us, gave up His life so we could live forever. The agony of praying “Let this cup pass from me” in the Garden of Gethsemane to the floggings with whips to which nails and bone were attached meant Real Love Hurts.
As Jesus hung on the cross at Calvary, Real Love was in agony.
He died, was buried and He rose again triumphantly!
In the same way that Jesus rose again from death to live forever, let us embrace the goal of Real Love:
I now embrace Real Love.