Posted in Love/relationships, Mental health/wellness, Parenting/Father Mother God, Prayer/healing, Women

Keeping score or giving 100%?

“It’s not about power; it’s about love.”

This is a beautiful statement that I heard last night.

I was sharing with some friends that my husband often gets up with me when I can’t sleep and will make pancakes for me, watch a movie with me or pray for me.

One of our friends was being cheeky and asked him, “how long do you think this power over you will last?” My husband replied, “it’s not about power; it’s about love.”

Beautiful! He summed up the impetus behind our family’s motives and actions much better than I could.

Often we think about relationships in terms of keeping score – making sure we are doing an equal amount of loving acts, favors and signs of affection for one another.

However, there is a more spiritual way to look at things.

Early on in our marriage, my husband and I were given the gift of attending a seminar called “Celebrate marriage!” (we had only been married a couple of weeks at this time). The speaker shared many valuable things; one idea that has stuck with me is that marriage isn’t about each person giving 50%. Marriage is about each person giving 100%. When each person in a marriage gives 100% all the time, there is no withholding of love or affection. Each person is looking for opportunities to give all the time.

Wow, what a revolutionary and spiritual view of relationships! It really symbolizes our relationship to God, who is always pouring out more love than we could ever accept! God’s love is unconditional (this is illustrated in Christ Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, for instance). And God doesn’t keep score – thankfully! 🙂

So, if we are made in God’s image and likeness that means we are capable of loving unselfishly – the way God loves. We can pour out love to the people around us – taking every opportunity to give and not worry about what we might get in return.

This seems like a tall order, but it’s nothing more than a mental discipline – not giving in to fears about lack, limits or the future that would prevent us from being as generous and as loving as we can be this moment.

Christian healer and teacher, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote:

“Human affection is not poured forth vainly, even though it meet no return. Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 57)

And she asks these pointed questions:

“God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more? God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend? Do we expect to change perfection? Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept?” (Ibid, p. 2)

Sometimes we may forget just how big and limitless God is. But maintaining this infinite view of God illustrates just how big and limitless the love is that we have to give to each other. And this love blesses us making us feel fulfilled and joyful.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Body/physical healing, Employment/jobs, Future/stability/security, Health/wellness, Identity/healing the past, Life, Love/relationships, Supply, Self-Worth, Finances, Women

Loving Ourselves

I read an interesting article the other day.  It pointed out to love ourselves first, and then we will have the ability to love our neighbor as ourselves.[i] I feel this point is important when understood in a spiritual perspective.

If I see myself as the spiritual idea that God created – beautiful, useful, intelligent, filled with right ideas, creative, and shining – then I express that, and I’m able to see others that way.

On the contrary, if I’m not seeing myself spiritually, then I’m probably not going to see others spiritually as well.  If I only love myself a little bit or some of the time, than I’m only going to love my neighbor a little bit or some of the time.  We can see ourselves as the spiritual perfect man or woman that God created, and in that way we can be uplifted and help uplift others.

When we love ourselves as God’s child then we naturally bless and include others.  We radiate God’s light.  We see ourselves through the lens of Love, and we are able to see others in the same way.  Giving becomes easier.  We are more productive and appreciative.  We feel more spontaneity, energy and enthusiasm.

Negative thoughts about yourself are draining.  They take away our strength and lead to discouragement.  They may be regret, inadequacy, unworthiness, fear of failure, or lack of confidence.  On the other hand they may be self-righteousness or self-justification.  The type of attitude that says, “I don’t care what anyone else feels; I’m going to do it anyway”; Or it may be criticizing others so that we feel better.  This isn’t loving ourselves as God made us either.

We are each the beloved child of God.  God knows us as spiritual and perfect, eternally abiding in His kingdom.  “In Him we live and move and have our being”.[ii] Therefore we can never be apart from God or leave His side.  No mistake or accident from the past can taint us today.  We are “new-born”[iii] each day, and we can always “put on the new man”[iv].

I had the privilege of attending a Christian marriage seminar shortly after I was married.  Wonderful ideas were shared including this one that I like: we are 100% responsible for how we feel.  This takes pressure off your spouse or anyone else to be the one to please or make you happy.  And it takes pressure off of you to look for someone to make you feel good.

When we are responsible for how we feel, we are much nicer to be around and easier to get along with.  We don’t have to look to someone else for approval or satisfaction; we can look to God to know we are taking the right step and walking the right way.  We can check with God before we do or say anything.  And we know we are already loved.  I like revising the well-known Bible statement that says, “We love him, because he first loved us”[v] to say ‘we love ourselves, because God first loved us’.

Loving yourself is being obedient to God.  God made you and created you.  Loving yourself is acknowledging God’s wonderful creation.   It isn’t selfish at all.  And we are more valuable to Him when we see who we are as He/She created us to be – perfect and eternal in His/Her own spiritual image and likeness.

So let’s love ourselves today, and in that way we will truly be able to love others.


[i] Christian Science Sentinel, “A Promise of Progress”, T. Michael Fish, July 5, 2010

[ii] Holy Bible, King James Version, Acts 17:28

[iii] Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 35

[iv] Holy Bible, King James Version, Eph 4:24, Col 3:10

[v] Holy Bible, King James Version, I John 4:19

Posted in Life

Spiritual Daily Lift » 4/12: Going up

http://christianscience.com/lectures/2010/04/12/going-up/#

via christianscience.com

I love this idea today.  Lifting our thought up above our own selfish concerns so that we may be a service to others.  I enjoy the reminder that our happiness comes from when others are happy — seeing happiness all around us.  Giving is what really enriches our experience and makes us feel good, spiritual, happy, whole and at peace.  And often we find we are then healed too when our thought has been taken off ourselves.  Job’s healing came about after he prayed for his friends. (Job 42:10)  And Mary Baker Eddy states: “blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.” (p. 518)

What a wonderful Daily Lift today and reminder about lifting our thought up!


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