As we enter Thanksgiving week, there is much for us to be thankful for, but I want to start the week with the following question. Who is the most important love of your life? I am blessed with a beautiful wife that stood by me when I was deathly ill. She had to do everything for me – things no one should have to do. We have never had a fight, never said a bad word to each other, never disparaged one another, and we spend almost every hour of every day together. She has my heat. I have a daughter who is over-protective of her “Daddy.” Hurt me, and she will come unglued. She is beautiful and sharp as a tack. She has my heart. My son-in-law is a good man and a fantastic father. This relatively new addition to the family has my heart.
My oldest son is my verbal sparring partner. We fight over taxes, politics, world affairs, and whatever else we can think of, but when it is done, we are over it, hug and move on. He would lie with me when I was too sick to move and use his body warmth to heat me. He was 17 years old at the time. He has my heart. My youngest son is a Marine reservist, and I could not be prouder. He is the focused one and exemplifies the Marine’s code of conduct – honor, courage, and commitment. He is what I wish I were at that age. He has my heart. My family (including Mel’s) all have my heart. My church family is special too. They are encouraging, annoying, and lovable (did I mention annoying). They have my heart.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Of course, If you know me, you will be asking the obvious question now. Why have I left two people out? That was intentional because they are, well, rather special. They are, of course, my two granddaughters, the Butterfly Princess and the Unicorn Princess. They are cute, wonderful, beautiful, amazing, loveable, kind, intelligent, courageous, and every other positive descriptor you can think of. They have my heart. Oh, they definitely have my heart. Now, obviously, each one of the aforementioned has a special type and level of love, but which is the most important love of my life?
None of them, actually. That is right, not my wife, my kids, my grandkids, my family, my friends, or any other person on earth is the greatest love of my life – The Lord is. As much as I love everyone, even the most special of them pales in comparison to my love for the Almighty. And the best part is, they are all well aware of it and happy for me. I know their first love is God, also. Not only was He my creator who knew me before my birth, Jer. 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”, but all the loves of my life are a gift from Him. I am keenly aware that without the God of all the universe, the creator and sustainer of life, nothing I cherish would mean anything.
I love Him first and foremost because He loved me first (1 John 4:19) and sent His perfect Son to be the unblemished Lamb who would be the propitiation for my sinful nature. My love for God does not diminish my love for those mentioned earlier; instead, it is the exemplifier that allows me to love them the way I do. I am thankful, maybe more than most, because of how little I deserve His capacity to love me unconditionally despite my many shortcomings. I am grateful that He loved me when I was not worth the effort and thankful for His grace and mercy. And I am incredibly grateful for the gift of His Son, who paved the way for my hope of an eternity in heaven.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” I deserve the worst, but His love gives me the best. How could He then not be the first and foremost love of my life?