|Years ago, I stood at an altar while a preacher said these words: “Will you love him all the days of your life?”
I looked into my husband’s eyes and whispered, “I will,” and I meant it.
Loving each other all of our days seemed so romantic.
Our short honeymoon ended, and real life began. There were plenty of sweet days. Days we laughed. Days we linked arms and faced the world together.
There were also days I hadn’t imagined as I made my promise.
Like the days we worked side by side in a business, requiring many hours and a great deal of faith. Or days when bills piled up, and our bank account was low. I hadn’t factored in the series of days we’d miss sleep as young parents and how cranky and out of sorts we’d feel. No one told me how challenging it would be to work through our differences, or how hard it would be when I got cancer at the age of 31.
The pastor was requesting so much more than a romantic gesture on my part. He was asking if I’d be willing to love this man on both the good and really hard days, for that’s what would sustain and build our relationship.
Just like our relationship with God.
As God prepared to send Jesus to earth, He was not naive like I was back then. God knew in advance that loving the world would be a mishmash of joy and days that included forgiveness and fresh starts.
As I read Romans 5:8, today’s key Scripture, I’m blown away by the commitment and unconditional love our Heavenly Father demonstrated from the beginning: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
His commitment was to love us, even as we demonstrated how unlovable we could be.
If you’re in a place where your relationship with God feels distant, or you’re punishing yourself because you fell short, it’s important to remind yourself that your relationship with God is a long-term commitment.
It’s for all of your days.
He loved you while you were yet a sinner. He loves you on those days when you bring joy to Him. He loves you when you take that big leap of faith and fall flat on your face. He loves you as you grow in your knowledge and understanding of Him. He loves you when you mess up and confess your need for a fresh start.
The biggest mistake we can make is to walk away from that love for any reason.
Just as I wished someone had told me that my relationship of nearly 40 years with the guy I love would have its share of up-and-down days, it’s important we acknowledge our walk with God will also contain both beautiful days and days when we struggle.
Yet His love never wavers.
How will we respond to such a great love?
We choose to love Him back, for all our days.
Father, You chose to love me while I was yet a sinner. I choose to love You back. On good days. On hard days. When my faith is tested and when my joy is overflowing. I love You, Heavenly Father, all my days. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.