Before we start on our study, I just wanted to tell you what sweet thing my oldest said to me last night. The others had gone to bed and it was just the two of us sitting on the couch watching television for a minute. An ad came on that they were holding auditions for America's Next Top Model in a nearby city. He said (and I promise he wasn't laughing when he said it), "You should go try out."
"Buddy, I'm too short, too old and too chunky to be a model."
"Not to me."
How's that for a tweenager! Guess I got my Valentine's present a little early.
Love may not always encourage us to be on television or to be a model, but real love always protects. It protects the people it loves. This concept brings to mind familiar verses. "For God so loved the world...", He stepped in and protected us from the penalty of our own sin (John 3:16). "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).
We take care of our own. That's why it's so shocking and angering when we hear of people who have put their families in harm's way or been the one who caused the pain or death of their loved ones. With real love we should be safest. Troubles, cares and even dangers may come. Love says, "get behind me" and faces it head on.
Love looks after the wellfare of those it cares for. One of the loudest ways my husband tells me he loves me is with the alarm clock. He gets up at 4:00 every morning and gets ready for work. Every day, without complaint. This isn't even the time he's required to go. He chooses to go early so that he can come home early and spend time with our family. That tells me he loves me, and our family, without him ever having to utter a word.
There's another side we don't often think about. Love always protects--itself. No, I'm not talking about the 'look out for #1' mentality, there's not much love in that. Love guards its heart against the onslaughts that rise up against it.
It reminds me of what someone once told me. His boss was an executive at a large company. He had a young and pretty assistant. The gorgeous young assistant, seeing opportunity for an older man with money, made advances. This has been the downfall of many. He looked this woman in the eye and told her that his wife was older, she did have wrinkles, she was a housewife, didn't even usually wear makeup. But that his wife, just as she was, would always be a thousand times more beautiful than she could ever hope to be.
That's love. That's a real man. He could have given in like many others have. He could have even brushed her off "politely". He made a better choice. He saw the situation for what it was and he confronted it head on. He put a guard around his heart. He stood firm for what he loved.
Love always protects.
P.S. Joey told me about a great site. http://ourbestbites.com/ They have good recipes and even craft ideas. They had made a really cute Valentine wreath out of felt roses. I had some felt and made a few while I sat down for a minute yesterday. I don't have enough for a wreath yet, but I'm on my way. Be sure to check them out.