Tuesday, March 23, 2010

As Promised - Sermon on Repentance

Repentance from Lifepoint Church on Vimeo.

Aimee Freeman

Monday, March 22, 2010


Before I get started with today's post, I want to ask you if you go to church? If you don't, do it next week! I mean it. If you are not going to church, you are robbing yourself of a message that can help to sustain you for a week, or even change your entire life. Messages are heard every week at churches all over the world that bring people to the Lord, cure addictions, heal marriages, mend friendships, & so much more. I don't think that I ever heard a person say, "I wish that I didn't come to church today." But I have certainly said & heard others say, "I should have gone to church today." I have gotten at least one thing out of every single sermon that I have ever heard. No exaggeration, no lie. The past few months I have balled my eyes out every week. As I get closer to the Lord & allow Him to work in my life, the more powerful the message & the deeper the healing.

Like many of you, I have made every excuse in the book not to go to church. Of course you don't feel good every Sunday morning, God heals. You stayed up too late, possibly even sinning, God energizes. You are depressed or upset, God can cheer us up. We feel lonely & maybe will have to attend church alone, God is by your side holding your hand. There is no excuse that is good enough. Honestly, if you are making excuses, you probably really NEED to go to church. Please, if not for yourself, your kids, your family, your marriage, your friendships, your job, or even for God.....can I ask you do to me a favor? Please go to church next weekend. If this blog has EVER helped you in ANY way, please go to church for me. Just trust me.

I have only been to a few services in my life where the church has had you, the member, participate in the service. I love that! What a way to make a BOLD statement. Adam & I were fortunate enough to be a part of the cardboard testimonies at Elevation Church last year. If you are wondering what a cardboard testimony is, just watch the video. 

I don't even want to explain it, I want you to watch it. This particular link is 8:04 seconds & it is worth every one of them. I cried through the majority of it, so grab your tissues before you start. GOD IS GREAT! You can have a Pastor stand up on stage & say how these people were healed or brought to the Lord, but seeing the actual participation from each member is so much more powerful.

Tonight I went to church & I took more notes than I ever have. Seriously, I need to start taking a notebook. I have so many of these little note cards laying around that get folded up & put in my pockets. I run out of space often & thoughts are jumbled everywhere. Tonight our lead Pastor took a break & let another one of our Pastor's, Daryl Strickland, lead the service. AMAZING!

So, what was the topic? Repentance. Ok, ok, don't leave just yet. Keep reading & bear with me. It will be worth it. What is repentance? Repentance is changing your mind for the better. Just to be clear, this means better in God's eyes, not better in yours. Pastor Daryl said that he was very upset with God that He wanted him to preach on repentance when he really wanted to preach on joy. But God told him that if he would preach on repentance, we WILL have joy. Praise God!

Our lesson tonight was coming from Joshua 7. Basically God said that if you follow HIS plan, that you will win. Not your plan, not your friend's plan, not culture's plan, but God's plan. THE WHOLE PLAN. Not just the parts of the plan that are easy for you. Are you following the whole plan? Are you being obedient to the Lord or are you a "Convenient Christian"? I realize that that is a strong term, but I am here to get real with you, not be your friend.

As Pastor Daryl said tonight, a true friend will stab you from the front. They will tell you when you are being disobedient to the Lord. We all have friends & family that will make us feel better instead of telling us the truth of the Word & holding us to it. However, those "friends" are doing us a disservice. Making us feel better in our sin should not make us feel better at all. You know it & they know it. But, they do it because they don't want to make you mad or lose your friendship. Personally, I would rather help you get closer to the Lord then to make you feel better on Earth. I hope that you can appreciate that.

So why do we sin? Well, because culture has pretty much convinced us that sin makes us feel better. People cheat because they are unhappy at home. Does cheating really make them feel better? Maybe temporarily. But, the Holy Spirit is eating away at them. They can't sleep at night & maybe they can't even eat. People look at pornography for a quick fix to their sexual desire. People slam their spouse to their friends & family when they should just pray for their spouse & trust the Lord with their problems. People have addictions because again, they wanted a quick fix.

The Lord isn't a quick fix. He is a way of life that you have to accept. When you have problems in your marriage, you HAVE to rely on God. You can't change your spouse & they can't change you. YOU can't keep them from cheating. YOU can't heal their addiction. YOU can't make them stop talking bad about you. But, GOD CAN! I struggle with this every single day. God's timing is not our timing. However, when we want to give up, that we can control, that is OUR timing. So we quit, we separate, get divorces, & move on to the next train wreck of a relationship because we have the same theory. If we choose when & what to believe, we will have the same troubles again. GUARANTEED. You didn't trust the Lord so what makes you think that you will trust Him the second or third time around? You know what is right & you have to follow it TODAY. There is no excuse to wait any longer.

Why do you think it is that we say things like, "Oh, I am just using a little profanity. God will forgive me." Or, "I just cheated on my spouse once, God will forgive me." It doesn't work like that. Sin may not seem like a big deal to you, because you are trying to justify it to make yourself feel better. But it is a big deal to God. After all, He did NAIL HIS SON TO THE CROSS for us. Shouldn't that stop & make you think? Doesn't that make you feel bad? It should!

So, what do you do now? Well, the first step of the process is CONVICTION. Hopefully as you have been reading what I have been writing, God has been convicting you of something that you are doing wrong in your life or the life of your family. Maybe you are stealing from your job, doing drugs, drinking, addicted to porn, cheating on your spouse, disrespecting your spouse, not trusting the Lord, worrying, gambling, lying, etc. Conviction can come from a friend sticking up for the truth, God speaking to you, going to church & hearing the message, or even watching a sermon online.

The next step is CONFESSION. Tell someone that loves you & THAT LOVES JESUS. Not a friend or family member that is going to make you feel better. Someone that is going to talk to you about your sin. Someone that you can trust. Someone that won't tell everyone else in the world. Someone that will hold you accountable.

CORRECTION. Ok, so now we are getting into the hard stuff. Using profanity, getting convicted, confessing, & then doing it again is not going to help you. You have to make a correction. You have to stop doing it. You know it is wrong & you have to change it. Continuing in the same behavior is just compounding your disobedience. Do what you have to do to make things right.  Forget about the temporary satisfaction that you are getting from your sin. Look away from the devil, turn to the Lord, & believe that He has the best plan for you. Do not rely on your own understanding. You do not know what is right for you. The Lord does. Accept His plan & follow it.

The last step is CONSEQUENCES. You may have to face consequences for your actions. If you are stealing from your job for instance, you may have to pay money back, you may get fired, or you may even face jail time. If you are cheating, you may lose your spouse, or you may just have to beg like crazy & earn their trust again. No matter what has happened or what your consequences are, you HAVE to trust the Lord.

Don't confuse God's patience with His approval. He does not approve of your sin. To have rhythm with the Lord requires repentance. Not repenting will haunt you day & night (Psalms 51). Repentance will bring refreshment. If your sin has been against your spouse, let's say you have been disrespectful, you must correct this even if your spouse does not deserve it. We have spoken of this many times before. If you have turned the other cheek time & time again, it doesn't matter, do it again. It is what you are commanded to do. Matthew 18:21-22 says...21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. 

Can you imagine forgiving your spouse seventy times seven? God will hold your hand & He will help you. You will not be able to do it on your own. We all want to give up at times. Ask any couple that has been married for a long time & they will be sure to share stories of hard times. Marriage isn't easy & if you are reading this blog at all, you have experienced that. There aren't so many of us reading this blog because it is "just our spouse" that is "this way". EVERY marriage is work, not just yours. So stick it out with the person that God created just for you. Forgive them for their sins. You will need them to forgive you for yours. We all have issues. If the Lord can forgive us after He gave up His son for us, we can forgive each other for anything, right?

Tonight our church took this one step further. They gave us an index card & we had to write our sin or sins on the card. We could write one thing or we could fill it up, but we had to be honest. They had two giant crosses in the church & we were to get up out of our seats, if we were comfortable, & we had to go pin our cards on the cross with a push pin. Some people folded their cards to remain private & some displayed them for all to see. I had folded mine but opened it at the last second. Many people were crying, after all, they were freeing themselves in that very moment from their sins. We were all committing to the 4 steps that we spoke of in this blog post. For the record, I will be emailing my accountability partner to discuss my card tomorrow. After service they had many staff members on site to pray with you specifically for your sins & for your repentance. It was truly an amazing experience that I wish you all could have been there for. Here are a few photos.


You could see all of the index cards stuck on there. Again, there was another cross & this was a VERY small service. Seeing people being so vulnerable & letting God take over their situation was amazing. It is very hard to do, I know. I did a card too, I am in the same boat. Will you join me? Will you allow yourself to be convicted of YOUR sin? Will you confess it today? Will you start correcting it today? Will you accept the consequences today? If so, your new life will start today as well. 

Please get out a piece of paper, sticky note, index card, or whatever else you have. Write down your sins. You probably don't need to think that hard about this. You know what you are doing wrong. Especially if the Holy Spirit is in you. Call, email, or text someone that loves you & THAT LOVES JESUS. (That is really the most important thing. They have to love Jesus) Confess today. 

If you don't have someone that you feel comfortable confessing to, email me at Aimee@WomensMarriageMinistry.com. I may take a few days to get back to you, but I will try my hardest to get back to you quickly. This is important & I don't want to leave you hanging. 

I also want to remind you, beg you, encourage you, or whatever it will take to get you to church next weekend. Please, please, please do it. You may have a spouse that is a non-believer, has already left your home, or is simply not your spiritual leader. I won't lie, going to church alone is hard. But you CAN do it & it WILL be worth it. In the end, hopefully your obedience to the Lord will rub off on your spouse & they will begin going with you. In the meantime, you have to worry about YOUR relationship with the Lord. 

I am going to post this sermon as soon as our church posts it on their website. I hope that I did the sermon justice. I hope that it helped you. The service sure helped me. I will say a prayer for all of you tonight before I go to bed. Please pray for me as well. 

Aimee Freeman

Friday, March 19, 2010

8 Steps for Redeeming Your Marriage Relationship

This post was taken from www.FamilyLife.com. Be sure to read Dr. Phil's comments below. I am totally floored by the statistic. 

8 Steps for Redeeming Your Marriage RelationshipMarty Trammell and Rich Rollins

One plus one never equaled one in our math classrooms, so why do we think it will in our living room? The “two shall become one” Bible passage from Ephesians 5 sounds romantic at the wedding, but when the tests come, it feels like a 50-page story problem waiting to flunk us from our first semester of calculus. Why is it so hard to learn the new math?

The sooner we realize that marriage is a cause of conflict (not just a part of it) the sooner we’ll be able to do the addition. Think about the last “discussion” you had with your spouse. Sure, it might have been caused by expectations or crushed character, but it might have been that the two of you are in the most poignant of all relationships. (The relation part of the word means the two of you. The ship part means you can experience a wreck at any moment!)

As you “discussed,” you pointed out options, arranged supporting materials and finally decided the potential wreck wasn’t worth all the effort (after all, there was a slight possibility you could be wrong). That’s probably why humorist Don Fraser could write “A happy home is one in which each spouse grants the possibility that the other may be right, though neither believes it.”

The next time you and your spouse find yourselves in a “discussion,” practice the following eight steps for resolving relational conflicts in marriage. They are based on two primary causes: control issues and the missing ingredients of respect and love.

Step 1: Understand the commitments of marriage
Our commitment to the person of Jesus Christ is what makes a Christian marriage different from any other. People become Christians by realizing they have sinned and can never meet God’s standard (Romans 3:23). By placing our faith in Him and His pardon of our sins, we have eternal life and can be called Christians.

A focused commitment.  Christ’s forgiveness and His example move us to forgive and sacrifice in response to His love. There are times when I (Rich) take my attention off my wife, but as long as I don’t take my focus off Jesus, He will remind me to pay attention to my relationship with LouAnna.

An extreme commitment.  It’s unlikely that the wounds associated with the lack of control, respect, and authentic love in a marriage can heal without intense devotion. The greatest love stories ever known (including the greatest—the love of Jesus) have demonstrated total devotion. Lovers don’t meet each other halfway. They give everything they have to give.

A growing commitment.  Christian commitment is similar to WD-40, that all-purpose household lubricant. Once we spray it on, it starts eating away at the rusty areas of our lives, freeing us up to experience more of the wonder so tightly fastened on our Creator’s love.

One of the misconceptions of marriage is that when people get married, they lose their individual identities. The opposite is true. “The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together,” says Robert C. Dodds.

When we marry, our new relationship becomes a catalyst promoting growth and frees us to reach our potential. For the first time we have someone who is permanently in our court, encouraging us to give our best.

Step 2: Check the current
Each summer the Rollinses and Trammells raft the Deschutes River. We put the Trammell boys in one raft and the adults in another. Even though the river is a slow, meandering current through the beautiful Oregon forest—and even through the boys are old enough to take care of themselves—we breathe less easy when they float out of sight.

Marriage is like being cast into a river. Our goal is to stay in touch. We never want to lose sight of each other. Because the river flows insanely over the landscape of our lives, we are never guaranteed that our marriages will flow the way most men hope or most women dream. Staying in touch is the essence of a successful marriage. Hold each other daily. Eat together whenever possible. Use these times to check the current.

Step 3: Couple your prayer
Prayer is a necessary step in resolving conflict. We need wisdom and direction in every conflict, and God promises to give it freely and without reservation. When we list prayer in this context, we are emphasizing praying as a couple. Praying together not only accomplishes the same goals as personal prayer, but it draws the couple together in ways that no other activity can.

Prayer is an intimate act before our Creator. When a couple shares with God and each other their deepest fears and thoughts about their marriage and the events surrounding them, they add glue which further cements their relationship. They gain heavenly support from the God who invented marriage. They gain a mutual understanding. Studies have indicated that in staying power, praying separates the marriages that last from those that do not.

Dr. Phillip C. McGraw writes in his bestselling book, Relationship Rescue:
 … an interesting statistic shared by David McLaughlin in his wonderful series entitled The Role of the Man in the Family reflects that the divorce rate in America is at a minimum one out of two marriages. But the reported divorce rate among couples that pray together is about one in ten thousand. Pretty impressive statistic, even if you reduce it a thousandfold.
It is a pretty amazing statistic! We have discovered as we have opportunities to meet with couples that those who pray together have a greater strength and deeper intimacy.

Step 4: End the stalemate
One of the common mistakes we make as couples is waiting. We know what we want in a relationship. We also intuitively know what our partner wants. We could give them what they want, but usually don’t until they give us what we want. This stalemate produces more quarrels and dissatisfaction, which produces a greater sense of estrangement. Common sense should tell us that if we can’t control the other person and we can only control ourselves, we need to do something—something other than wait for them to give us what we want or need.

We see it all of the time as we meet with couples. The husband is waiting to be respected before he will love his wife. The wife is waiting to be loved before she will treat her husband with respect. The result is that no one gets much of anything from the marriage. Somebody has to give in. If that somebody is you and you are the wife, you should try reaching out to your husband. Treat him with special respect.

If you are the husband, you need to reach out in tenderness and start loving her in a way she can understand. Instead of acting like you are entitled, start deserving her respect. Become the lover. It is amazing what happens when our wives start “feeling” love. All of a sudden they begin to reciprocate.

Step 5: Realize you can only change yourself
We are also reminded that we can change no one but ourselves. The irony has always been that, as soon as we begin changing, those around us begin changing, too. Looking back, I (Rich) realize that I fell in love with my wife because of her differences as well as our similarities. I wanted a wife who was unique; I did not want another me. I wanted her to become all that she could be. I discovered that when I loved her, she began to feel free to become that person. We still have conflict, but we have stopped trying to change each other.

Step 6: Do it in love
Several years ago, Dr. Gary Chapman described five main love languages: “words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.” If your love language is “giving gifts,” you might assume that everyone is a gift-giver. But you may be married to a person who expresses his or her love with “words of affirmation.” They keep waiting for you to say something nice and you keep waiting for a gift. Until you discover your love language, you may be saying, “I love you,” but the other person isn’t hearing it.  Dr. Chapman gives us three steps to discovering our love language.
1.  What does your spouse do or fail to do that hurts you most deeply? The opposite of what hurts you most is probably your love language.
2.  What have you most often requested of your spouse? The thing you have most often requested is likely the thing that would make you feel most loved.
3.  In what way do you regularly express love to your spouse? Your method of expressing love may be an indication of what would make you feel loved.
The Apostle Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 moves love from the abstract to the quantifiable. Patience is measurable. Kindness is measurable. Paul’s description of love removes our excuses for saying “I love you,” but never showing it in what we do. Many of our conflicts would be readily resolved if love were added to the mixture.

Step 7: Stop remembering
At some point, we need to stop opening up the photo albums of each other’s failures and move on. We do that by forgiving. If all we do is stare at the negatives in the photo album of our relationship, very little positive will develop. We need to stop remembering what shouldn’t be dwelt on.

Step 8: Work on being friends
Mark Goulston said, “Take action when you fall out of love.” Being best friends with your spouse is an important facet of a rewarding relationship. The Apostle Paul exhorted his protégé, Titus, to instruct older women in the church to teach younger women how to love their husbands. The word he uses for “love” is the love of friendship. Paul wanted the women to be best friends with their husbands.

Our (Rich’s and Marty’s) best friends are our wives. Whenever we hear someone say that we should treat our family as friends and our friends as family, we think that easy—they’re the same people! Being friends means we have fun with each other, endure the truth from each other, and find our comfort in each other. That way, when the conflicts come, we can rest in the friendship created by years of working on them.

By practicing these eight steps, we believe that every couple can learn to add one plus one and come up with only one. We can use the new math. We can learn to share the kind of oneness that annotates our anniversaries with candlelight and whispers.

Adapted from Redeeming Relationships © 2007 Rich Rollins and Marty Trammell. Used by Permission of Faith Walk Publishing, Grand Haven, MI.

Rich Rollins is executive pastor of Valley Bible Church, a community church in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as a healthcare professional, college vice president, and church consultant.

Marty Trammell is chair of the English and Communications department of Corban College in Salem, Org., and on the pastoral staff of Valley Baptist Church.  He has over twenty years of counseling experience.

Aimee Freeman

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lifepoint Church Sermon - George & Karen Kapusta

Hey everyone. I wanted to post the sermon from this past Sunday on the blog. The guest speakers are George & Karen Kapusta. They are our pastor's parents, they lead the marriage small group at our church, & they mentor couples (individually or together) on the weekends. I have talked about them on the blog before. 

They have been married for 39 years but, it wasn't always easy. In fact, they have a very interesting story that I think that you all would be interested in hearing. It is a story of hope, love, & extreme faith. We all may not have a story exactly like George & Karen's, but I guarantee that you all will hear at least one thing that WILL make a difference in your hearts & minds.I have been blessed to hear George & Karen's story before, but I haven't heard it like this.

Karen is a great inspiration to me personally & I speak with her weekly. She keeps me on track as a Christian woman, is a great support, & challenges me to be better for the Lord. We all make mistakes & we are not going to be perfect, EVER. We all need a George or Karen in our lives to hold us accountable. When I feel like doing something that I know the Lord would not approve of, is not Biblical, is led with feelings of hurt or pain, is selfish, or I am just angry, I call Karen to talk me off the ledge. She doesn't let me get away with anything just to make me feel better. That takes a lot of strength & faith. She is also a wealth of knowledge when I have a question about something I heard in church, need scripture references, or even just a prayer. She is a great prayer!

Thank you Karen for everything that you have done & are doing in my life. I appreciate so very much that I can depend on you for the TRUTH, without fail EVERY time. You are sometimes hard with me, but that is what I need. Being a friend & loving someone means telling them what they need to hear & not what they want to hear. YOU are helping to protect my salvation! It is a blessing to have found that in you. That quality is so rare in this culture. I wouldn't be where I am at this very moment without you in my life. Love you!

Growing Old Together from Lifepoint Church on Vimeo.

Aimee Freeman

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hope In The Ruble

Hope in the Rubble - Posted today at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

2 Mar 2010

Lynn Cowell

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength" Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)

Mind-boggling devastation filled the screen. I just couldn't wrap my mind around everything that had taken place by the earthquake in Haiti. Such suffering and pain. I went to sleep with the images firmly planted in my mind and heart.

When I awoke in the morning, I began to pray before my feet hit the ground: prayer for miracles, supplies and those who would arrive in that precious country to serve and minister to the broken. A picture of a crying baby being pulled from the rubble came to mind. After over 48 hours of no food, no water and being trapped under a collapsed house, the 18 month-old was rescued. It was truly a miracle.

My prayers moved from the Haitian crisis to praying for a loved one who has gone astray. The one I love has much in common with the newly rescued baby. He too is trapped. Trapped by the weight and destruction of bad decisions and flawed thinking patterns. What seemed like a common path many were taking led to a place of destruction.

What this precious baby and my loved one do not have in common is the desire to be free. The baby sensed something was wrong. Where was her family? Where was food and water? Why wasn't someone coming to her rescue? Such thoughts occupied her tiny immature mind. My loved one has yet to discover that he indeed needs rescuing. He has yet to recognize the weight of selfishness, unforgiveness and self-destruction pressing on him.

Do you have one you desperatel y love who is heading toward destruction and doesn't realize it? Do you have days when the rubble of sin seems too heavy- too much to be removed? And you just can't see how God is going to break through?

Help is arriving in Haiti. Armies, doctors, nurses and relief workers from around the world are helping. Rescue is taking place. People's lives have been saved, and in time, the destruction will be removed.

Rescue is available for our loved ones, too. Prayer is the place to begin as we hope that in the middle of their own destruction, they will see their need for rescue. When that realization becomes clear, like the tiny baby in Haiti, our loved ones will cry out for help. We know our God will be there to hear and rescue. He may use others to help them. He may call them to push away some of the debris. But more than anything, we know He wants them free.

Dear Lord, some days I grow weary of praying for my loved one. I am so glad that You don't. 

Please open their eyes to see the destruction they are in and give them the desire to break free. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Aimee Freeman

Monday, March 1, 2010

To Love 'Anyway' Is To Love Like God

This post was taken from Focus on the Family website. 

On Valentine's Day, Meg* went all out, giving her husband, Peter,* his favorite candy and tickets to a hockey game. Later that night, she wrapped herself in a special outfit purchased just for the occasion.

Peter got her a card.

At the grocery store.

That he purchased on the way home from work.

He didn't add anything to it, either. He just signed it, "Peter."

A couple of days later, Meg tried to explain that she felt a little taken for granted. Apparently, Peter misunderstood her intent because two months later, when they celebrated their anniversary, Peter didn't get Meg anything.

"How could you not get me anything for our anniversary?" she asked Peter the next day. "Especially after our conversation about Valentine's Day."

"Well, I thought about getting you something, but it didn't work out," he replied. "And then I knew not to get you a card because you said you didn't like that last time."

"It's not that I didn't like the card. It's that the card alone seemed a little sparse. But even that is better than nothing ..."

Several months later, Meg had a birthday. This time, Peter got her a present – a kitchen tool set. Several weeks before, Meg had asked to borrow Peter's tape measure and screwdriver. Peter figured that Meg should have her own small set of kitchen tools so she didn't have to borrow his.

Meg recounted all this and then explained how she had tried to get her husband to read several how-to books on loving your spouse. He would read the first few pages, lose interest and never pick the book up again.

"I've realized this is never going to change," she confessed. "But I love him anyway."

Because ...

That last statement of Meg's, "but I love him anyway," is one of the most profound theological statements on marriage I've ever heard. Most of us base love on because, not on anyway. I love you because you're good to me. I love you because you're kind, because you're considerate, because you keep the romance alive.

But in Luke 6:32-36, Jesus says we shouldn't love because. We should love anyway. If we love someone because that person is good to us, or gives back to us, or is kind to us, we're acting no better than anyone else. In essence, Jesus is saying you don't need the Holy Spirit to love a man who remembers every anniversary – not just the anniversary of your marriage, but the anniversary of your first date and your first kiss. Any woman could love a man like that. Or if you love a wife who lavishes you with sports gifts, who goes out of her way to make you comfortable when you get home from work and who wants sex anytime you do – well, you're doing what any man would do. There's no special credit in that!

But if you love a spouse who disappoints you, who can be a little self-absorbed – now you're loving anyway. In doing that, you're following the model of the heavenly Father, who loves the ungrateful and the wicked.

... Or Anyway

Will you love only because? Or are you willing to love anyway? Will you love a man or woman who doesn't appreciate your sacrifice? Will you love a husband or wife who takes you for granted? Will you love a spouse who isn't nearly as kind to you as you are to him or her?

Just about every faithless marriage is based on because love. Christians are called to anyway love. That's what makes us different. That's what gives glory to God. That's what helps us appreciate God's love for us, because God loves us anyway. He gives and gives and gives – and we take Him for granted. He is eager to meet with us, and we get too busy to notice Him. He is good to us, and we accuse Him mercilessly when something doesn't go just the way we planned it.

But God loves us anyway. To love anyway is to love like God – and to learn about God's love for us.

That's love, the way God intended it.

Aimee Freeman

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