All you need is love

 I’ve always found it a bit weird sharing so much of my life with people, but I have found that if I want to share faith and my love for God in any forum, I have to share my life.  How can I explain or discuss how great God is, and why I believe certain things if I cannot also share my life and experiences as well.  Who likes to read textbooks rather than stories?  No one.  And that is a great part of life, right?  To live a life that is worth hearing about, and carve out a meaningful slice of existence for ourselves!  People want to live a life of worth and value, and the best way to do so is to share one’s life with others.  The blogs that I love the most are those that share their points of view on life and love, and to see how others have figured out different ways to align themselves with God’s truth. Those are the best blogs.  Those are the blogs worth reading.
I am not trying to win awards for my writing.  I am not trying to push my points of view on life and family on others.  I simply want to share.
“By love refined” is a book that I read soon after I was married.  Someone in my marriage prep class suggested it, and it had a very big impact on the first few years of my marriage.  In the book Alice VonHildebrand writes letters back and forth to a young bride, giving advice that would help the young woman direct her life and marriage to God.  It’s a beautiful book, and the title alone is such a thought-provoking line.  The idea that love itself is what refines us—this is a beautiful reality of life.  Love perfects us and polishes all of our ugliness when we embrace it and we use it as the primary tool in our lives.  Through love, the young wife can get beyond petty things that might lead to early destructive thoughts and feelings about her husband.  Through love, the first time mom can overcome her frustrations at getting up four times a night for a fussy baby, or her quick reflex to anger, when she is really feeling exhausted.  Love lifts both beauty and hardship in life up to God.  Love submits to the cross, and lifts us up in every act towards salvation.  In all greatness one accomplishes in life, and in all suffering that one experiences—both can be lifted up to the cross through love.  This is because in the cross Christ carried out the most beautiful and gracious act of love that ever was.  He carried out the greatest act of love in the history of the world: his passion, death, and resurrection.  He turned one of the ugliest things into the most beautiful, by lifting up his crucified body, through his great love, so that all might obtain salvation.  It is Christ who teaches us first that it is by love that we are refined.  He teaches us that there is no greater thing than loving God above all and in loving our neighbor more than ourselves.  Not only that, but he opened up the way and showed us how to love.  He is our great model, and when we submit ourselves to him and his way, we truly will find ourselves “refined”. 
This is why I named by blog By Love Refined. 


“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.  No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.”—1 John 4:7-12


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