Personally Striving, Preparation for Marriage

Love Me

by Jonathon Hubbard

My Family, My Family,
     I come to you today humbled by God’s love and Jesus’ blood… tremendously thankful for the Lord’s undeniable favor in my life.  In the past we’ve talked a lot about having a true relationship with God.  However, I don’t want to be remiss in continuing that conversation.  As Christians, our faith has been beautifully constructed.  Constructed in such a way that God has given us a direct avenue to everything we need to live this life in the way that we were created to do so. 
The Preamble
     I had a Quantitative Business Modeling professor in graduate school at Wake Forest.  This particular professor felt that all major decisions in business, and in life, be made considering both the heart and the mind.  Furthermore, the marriage of the two is the only way to make good, sound decisions.  You do the calculations (logic)… and then you buy the red one (emotions).  You apply logic and sound thinking… and then you allow this pre-work to guide your emotions… remembering that neither the mind nor the heart is more important in this equation.  God gave us these beautiful minds to use them… but use them in conjunction with the feelings and emotions that God has also blessed us with.  It is this framework or lens through which I consider my faith.
     As you may have seen from a lot of my emails, I am a big fan of looking at the dichotomy of our spiritual bodies and these physical bodies that we will occupy for some time.  As I consider the two, I offer you this food for thought:
Consider what is necessary for life.  In freshman psychology I learned about a study done with      newborn babies.  With one group of babies they were nourished properly, but deprived of human contact.  In the other group the babies were nourished, held, and played with… loved.  In each case of the children that were cared for, but not loved,  those babies grew weak and some even died… hold that thought as we walk through some scripture…
Love Me
     In Matthew chapter 22 the Pharisees challenged Jesus by asking him what he thought the greatest of all God’s commandments is.  As you all probably know, Jesus replied “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  Three ways!  So let’s take a moment and deal with this trinity (pun fully intended).
     Today, we will deal with the first.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…”  Now a lot of us brush over this verse without understanding the true breadth of what Jesus is calling us to do.  Jesus is calling for Agape love… unconditional!  He’s telling us to Love Him the way He loves us!  Simple, yet it is a task that we will work at for the rest of our lives.  My mind goes back to Job.  Job is the closest human display of agape I can think of… Job loved without consideration of situation, circumstance, or even consequence.  A love that stared destruction in the eyes and said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”  He calls us to love and commune with Him in a way that we are truly unworthy to do so.  I often think of one of my favorite songs by Fred Hammond, “How Do You Love That Way.”  In it he says,
I must have made you cry a million tears, used enough mercy for a million years.  You’d think by now your grace would disappear…
You stretched your arms across eternity, you shed your blood to buy my liberty, you fight for me with all intensity, with an undeniable love…
How do you love that way, I need you to teach me to love that way. Why do you love that way.  Whatever you do don’t stop. 
Addicted to my selfishness and greed.  Thinking my selfishness could meet my need.  Pulled up flowers trying to make room for weeds, but it doesn’t uproot your love, I’m so crazy.
You just correct me try to slow me down, rain on me softly when my leaves are brown.  Resuscitate me when I hit the ground, so tenacious with you love.
How do you love that way, I need you to teach me to love that way. Why do you love that way.  Whatever you do don’t stop. 
I don’t know that we really think about the way God loves us, but after listening to that song a couple of times, I couldn’t ignore it.  He loves us so tenaciously… despite our constant shortcomings and iniquities.  Our sin makes us filthy human being… despicable!  Yet God embraces us in spite of our filth.  How do you love that way?  How do you love someone despite the way they hurt you and embarrass you DAILY?  How do you love that way?  Love… not put up with… LOVE!  Do we even have a desire to love that way?
The Charge
     In the rest of that passage in the 22 chapter of Matthew, Jesus goes on to say “And a second [commandment] is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Now, I learned to count very early in my academic career.  Furthermore, if Mrs. Stephens, my kindergarten teacher, knew what she was talking about; you can’t have 2 without 1.  I think that God constructed this passage in such a way, because he knew that in order to truly love… I mean truly love (please don’t miss this)… WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE FATHER!!!  I challenge you to develop a true understanding of agape love, but not to stop there.  Truly love God that way!  Conquer step one, so that others can benefit when you move to step two.
The News
With that said, I have an announcement to make.  God has brought someone so very special into my life.  Someone that has been a best friend, prayer partner, Godly council, and so much more.  The amount of God in this woman continues to amaze me.  I’ve been praying for a woman like this as long as I can remember, but thank God that He didn’t bless me with her until I was ready to love her the way He intended… the way she deserves… loving her as a by-product of my love for the Lord.  I love her, because she truly understands agape love for my Father.  With that said, I have asked Jocelynn to marry me, and we will be getting married July 3rd of next year.

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1 thought on “Love Me

  1. I have met Jonathan before when you came home for a couple visits, but I never really had the opportunity to talk to him in depth about much of anything. However, after reading this AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL piece written about love, I am almost envious of you being blessed with such a wonderful man. Only God could bring someone that great into a person's life, and what's even more special is that Jonathan was wise enough, mature enough, and spiritual enough to know that he had found his good thing in you. This was a perfect expression of what real love should be! Thank you for sharing it!!

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