“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” I John 4:11 (NIV)
I think I have a new favorite show: Fixer Upper. Our family enjoys watching HGTV and the variety of shows they feature. Chip and Joanne, though, have become my favorite. He is one crazy guy and while he would drive me crazy, Joanne loves him fiercely. You can tell that even when he is making silly comments or doing crazy stunts, she never once even pretends to roll her eyes… she instead will find something to compliment him about.
For example, she was trying to show her vision for the backyard to a couple who had hired them to renovate their house. Chip was engaged initially, but soon a forgotten monkey bar set stole his attention and he was off, practicing gymnastics. Joanne could have berated him, could have even just said, “Hey, Chip – that wasn’t very nice. I was trying to show our clients my vision and you distracted us.” Nope. She did neither. Instead she joked around with him about the proper way to stick his landing because it was supposed to go like this… and then proceeded to show him with her hands the dramatic flare. Another time he chose to race a client up some stairs and while they “tied,” she was quick to point out to him his wonderful form. Always complimenting. Always honoring.
That’s when it hit me… always accepting every single part of him for who he is. Not trying to change him. Not showing disgust or disapproval for the parts that aren’t as “mature” as the other parts, whatever that definition really means. Loving and accepting all of him.
We just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary, and I want to be that woman for my husband. I want my husband to know that I love all of him. I realized that to truly love someone else means to accept every nuance of their personality. Not putting up with. Not merely tolerating with an eye roll here or there. But complete acceptance of the other person.
I think God gives the blessing of marriage and family to help us glimpse a smidgen of the unconditional love He has for each of us. While I will never be able to perfectly love Bill, because I’m human and make mistakes, God will always perfectly love each of His children the same. While I can ask God each day to help me love unconditionally, I will fall short at times. He is truly the only One who can complete accept each of us, seeing our mistakes through the lens of Jesus’ forgiveness.
I always knew I enjoyed watching Fixer Upper and the fabulous makeovers they perform for their clients. However, the best part of watching that show is how they don’t try to “makeover” each other but instead encourage each other’s dreams, passions, gifts and talents.
I pray that my husband feels my complete acceptance for him, just the way he is. He’s amazing, talented, funny, honest, hardworking, and most of all loves our Father with his whole heart. I’m blessed to have been married to him for 17 years and I’m looking forward to many more years sharing life with him… loving every minute of it!
Here’s a Happy Birthday shout out to my amazing husband who is also my best friend. I love you!
© Cheri Swalwell 2016