Imperfect Love – The Only Kind We are Capable of

My favorite movie is “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days”.  It’s about a girl who attempts to get a guy’s attention and over the course of ten days, repeat many of the common mistakes women make in relationships that often result in driving the man away.  As a twist though, the guy ends up with an agenda of his own.  He has made a wager that he can make ANY girl fall madly in love with him.  What I love about this movie is the way it illustrates how effort and determination can go a LONG way in making a relationship last.  Of course, in the movie, the two really do fall in love only to be very hurt when finding out about the original motives that began this endeavor.  As in the tradition of most movies, in the end, they decide that even despite these mistakes, they really do love each other and they live happily ever after.

We could learn a lot from these basic principles.  Love is much more effective when you are giving it without concern of it being returned.  Hopefully, it affects the object of your affection in the same way and they also will love you in this manner. Wouldn’t THAT be nice? WOW!  Too often though, we have already endured a lot of pain in our lives and start new relationships looking for love instead of prepared to give love.

Overlooking and forgiving the mistakes of others is also important in keeping love alive.  We are imperfect humans and will never be able to live perfect lives.  If we will make a point to impart mercy to others and we receive forgiveness for our mistakes, love has a chance to grow and flourish.  Unforgiveness is death to a relationship of any kind.  Marriages break up, family members don’t speak, and friendships are lost, not because of a wrong that wasn’t made right, but because of unforgiveness.

Living with and even appreciating the differences in others is essential in cohabitating with others.  I’m glad the whole world isn’t like me, but at the same time, also find frustration in the fact that everyone is not like me.  I am very serious, dedicated, hard-working, and loving, but often forget to breathe or even laugh.  Even though I love to surround myself with people who are light-hearted and fun to be with, they are not people who I can depend on to accomplish a task, or maybe it’s just that I won’t be happy with the way they do it.  Hmmm…Is this a flaw of mine or theirs?  Variety is the spice of life and we all have our part in flavoring the world in which we live.

It seems that only in the movies do we find the person that says, “Hush, I don’t care what you’ve done, just be quiet and let me love you.”  But that love really does exist! This is the way that God loves us, unconditionally.  Now this does not remove consequences.  We will often have to answer for our actions and even make amends, but He truly loves us and completely forgives us when we repent.  Notice: He LOVES us no matter what, but He FORGIVES us only if we choose to repent.  Many people want to believe that God’s love alone will get us into heaven.  God’s love does not have to be earned, but we decide our ultimate destiny.

Jesus illustrated this love on the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Stephen also showed this type of love when he prayed, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” (Acts 7:60)  In our imperfect human lives, we often want to be reactive in our love efforts.  We love the way we are loved.  We give if it is given to us first.  Even a popular song at church shows this. “Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me.”    The Golden rule teaches us to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Of course, in order for this to work, we have to quit keeping track of other’s rights and wrongs.  But, that is why my title is: Imperfect Love.  God’s love alone is perfect. God is love.  If somehow in our imperfect humans lives we can pattern our love after His, how much sweeter life will become. 

The Law of Sowing and Reaping is also good to remember.  If we sow carrots, we will reap carrots. Simple enough! If we sow love, we will reap love. If we sow discord and hatred, we will reap discord and hatred.  The Bible is full of essential principles that will help us live a better life.  The lessons taught there will transcend any movie we could watch, any other book we could read, and any song we could hear all because He alone is perfect.

If we expect other imperfect people to make us happy, we will be disappointed every time. The only thing we can do is love others the way God expects us to, and make sure that our source of love is coming from God.  His love is an endless fountain that we can always count on.  If you can find someone else who shares this understanding, then love is sure to abound.