Saturday, May 29, 2010

You give love a bad name...

Remember that song? Jon Bon Jovi in the '80s... what can I say, nobody's perfect. Anyway, it popped into my head this morning after mulling over the early morning events of my pastor-husband receiving a phone call from a man who has long battled a crippling addiction to alcohol. My husband had already left for Saturday morning prayer meeting, the kids were all still in bed, and I was up enjoying the quietness of a sunny, Saturday morning and thinking about what a job my husband has. As I judgmentally wondered about what name this man is portraying for Christianity itself it was as if God said, "But do you give LOVE a bad name?" Hence the song reference, and if you know me well, you know I have a song for every third sentence. And so I snickered a bit and talked with God for a while as I made my breakfast.

Giving love a bad name? Me? No, ya think? You see, I was happy to see this man's wife leave him. Yup, happy. I could sleep knowing that there would be no injury to her that night, no crying ball of degraded flesh in the church office that week. She was free of him, and I was glad. Not really the pastor's wife's typical stance on marriage, but I couldn't stand to see it anymore. Years have now passed since the initial separation, and every time it seems that their lives are getting along fine separately, another hit comes. He's drinking again, stalking her, in the hospital for his alcoholism treatment... and on and on. So, really, what kind of name is that for Christianity? Why shouldn't I be concerned for Christ's name?

I can only know that my husband does the Christian thing. He tries to help, encourage and love. I love too. I love the wife. She is such a dear friend and a help to me every time I have a need. So, hey, I love. I love the lovable.

As I sat pondering my husband's actions and analyzing his thick skin and amazing heart, it hit me. Whether or not this man is or is not a Christian, my husband is. I am! And this man needs someone to say, "God loves you. Only he can heal you, help you, and turn your life around." At what point does God stop loving him? Because I sure had a stopping point. The moment he abused that woman I love so dear, it stopped for me.

It's overwhelming to think that God's love is unconditional. Do we really know what that word means? I put the condition of sobriety on my list. God doesn't. Man, I must have a long list for requirements of "lovability". I guess He's just teaching me again today. I'll be knocking off another stipulation and trying to love more fully. I want to give love a good name, for God is love!


  1. I really enjoy this. I too love up to a point and then I get a prideful attitude..."well, they made their bed...let them lie in it!" I have little compassion or love for those who CHOOSE to do wrong, to walk away, to stray...when the truth is, my attitude is sooo far from Christ-like, I'm no better!

    Loving the unlove-able is not always easy. My flesh wants them to suffer in agony over their stupid decisions....I'm so glad Christ didn't feel that way about me each time I fall.

    Great thoughts SP! (I wasn't sure if you wanted me to use your name or not?!)

  2. You can use my name, Amy, it's fine. I'm just not into putting my full name out there for the big wide world to see! :)