There are two things that we are pretty serious about here at The Chase Is Real: Loving God and loving others. In this week's verse, Jesus gives us a command to love one another. This isn't a suggestion or a, "Hey...I think this is going to really help you out." NO! It is an order, a direction, an instruction, a requirement. So as we start this new year, we are taking that command seriously and we will be spending the next six weeks focused on loving others as Jesus has loved us. We don't do this lightly - we know relationships are hard and loving like Jesus can make us all want to throw our hands up and quit life. But we believe with His help, prayer, and our devoted intention, God can create beautiful things out of something broken and healing out of hurt. All you need is to be open to His loving guidance and grace.
We will be focusing specifically on the marriage relationship. I'm sure after reading just that statement that you're already feeling many emotions. Excitement? Maybe you're feeling hopeful and thankful for such a topic. Maybe you're feeling discouraged. How about uncomfortable? Perhaps you laughed and made an eye roll. And for those of you out there that are not married, you likely already began to tune me out. But, we challenge everyone in this community to take a deep breath and to be open to what God has for us. Everything we will share can be applied to all relationships. We are far from expert status here. We are just like you - ordinary people living regular lives. But we know that living open to God in our relationships has a powerful impact and we are excited to share what we've experienced so far.
There will be a few changes to how we usually do things in this series. Instead of a weekly challenge, we will have one challenge that we will use throughout the entire six weeks. It's very simple, but not always easy. You ready? Each day, do something to intentionally give love and do something to intentionally receive love (if that feels overwhelming, do the challenge as often as you can). We are certain that the giving part will be easier for all of us, but also incredibly powerful. Ask yourself what is one thing you can do each day this week to give love to your spouse (or someone very close to you). GO AND DO IT! With the receiving portion, this might take a little more thought. Each day, focus on one thing your spouse has done to love you and receive that love. Take it in and accept it. Now, a lot of us may have gotten into some habits of not recognizing this gesture of love, so it might take some thought. We'll be sharing in our blogs and on Facebook what that looks like for us and we would love to hear what you have found as well. Mostly we know that LOVE is a practice and we believe that after doing this particular challenge for six weeks, we will come out with a new habit that God will use in big ways in our lives.
Loving like Jesus is no small feat, friends! Giving our very lives for each other is counter cultural. We want something in return when we give, and often end up bartering in our relationships. "I will show you love if you do ____ for me or give me ___." But God's nature is unconditional love. It's loving through the mistakes, the hurts, and the ugly, and the mess. Join us as we dive into our most vulnerable, messy, hurtful relationships (no one can hurt us like those closest to us, right?) and begin to open to this new kind of love.