The Love That's Not Gushy

喜爱. amour. die Liebe. αγάπη. 愛. 애정. amor. любовь. 

They all mean love. Chinese, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian. 

Love is everywhere.

Love is usually portrayed as gushy, mushy and easy. And it can be. Heaven knows that it can be.  It can be so soft and easy and warm and fuzzy. 

Sometimes it's not. 

We love everything... or so it seems. "Love" is one of the most used words in relation to people and things in this world. We love football, music, chocolate, clothes, pets, people, technology. 

Love is mostly described to us as an emotion that overtakes us. It comes without our deciding to let it in. We "fall" into it. That's what we are often told... but is that true? Sometimes it is true that love can pull us to something or someone and we can hardly resist it. 

Sometimes it doesn't. 

Sometimes love is the last thing we feel and the last thing we want to show. Sometimes people make us mad. Sometimes things are not fair. Sometimes love seems so far away. 

Without even knowing it, we are taught to love if others loves us. If we aren't feeling loved, then we are encouraged not to lower ourselves to show love and be a doormat. Right? Wrong. So wrong. At least according to Scripture. 

1 John 3:1  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

What about Hosea and Gomer? She was a prostitute who ran from her husband, Hosea, constantly. She showed no love, yet Hosea bought her back while she was still wallowing in her sin. What about Joseph? He could have killed his brothers for their evil sin years before, but he didn't. He loved them and forgave. What about the Prodigal son and his father? The boy was a fool and ruined his life, but the father welcomed him home and gave him another future. 

What about Jesus? What about His love? The greatest love of all. 

Love is often hard. Very hard. Valentines Day is a sweet day out of the year filled with flowers, chocolates and balloons to remind us to "love." But the greatest love of all is often love coupled with forgiveness. 

Forgiveness is a kind of love... the hardest kind. It is bitting your tongue when you feel your chest about to explode with anger. It is pulling the person into your arms even when you want to push them away. 

I just finished reading one of my favorite books of all time, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, about Louis Zamperini. Love is what the WWII prisoner of war Zamperini showed to his Japanese tormenter of 3 years. The man named, Mutsushiro Watanabe, called "The Bird" by the POWs, hated Olympic runner and Second Lieutenant Zamperini more than anyone else. He beat him mercelesly. He played mind games with him and constantly threatened to kill him. He beat the starving man's head with a belt buckle, and did all in his power to destroy the unbreakable American. And when Zamperini was freed right before his official date to be killed in the prison camp, he began an obsession that lasted several years. The obsession was how to kill "The Bird." It nearly destroyed him and plunged him into alcoholism. But Zamperini went to Billy Graham's tent revival in Los Angeles and God changed him and his obsession. Louis forgave his tormenter. And sent him a note. At the end it said, "I hope you too, will become a Christian." The Bird never responded back, but Louis had forgiven and he was free. 

Maybe this Valentine's Day, along with all the sweet love and easy happiness, we can offer love to those that don't fall at the top of our lists. That may be a family member who has hurt you, or just someone that is out to make you miserable. Show the love Jesus showed. Love that is undeserved and flows freely. 


  1. This post is amazing, Katy! My parents read Unbroken and told me about it! That is truly an amazing story! And everything in this post is such a good reminder of what true love is! Well done Katy! Love you!!


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