Pardon me for quoting Tina Turner, but she raises a good question. I was talking to Patti about how it is that we can love this child, this total stranger. How do you look at a child that is not yours biologically and love him or her? What makes us look at Kristina differently than any other child that crosses our path?
In contemplating the nature of love, I am brought back to the example that Christ set for us. How is it that God could love us in the state that we were in? I think that our concept of "love" is much different than the example that Christ showed humanity. We tend to think love is an emotion. And as such, it is subject to change, die, fluctuate. But God showed us that love is a choice, not a feeling. It is not dependent on its object and it is not subject to outside forces. If we are to love our neighbor (Matthew 19:19), our spouses (Ephesians 5:25), our children (Titus 2:4), our enemies (Matthew 5:23), and even our Lord (Mark 12:30) then we must choose to do so. Let's face it, there are days that we don't feel like being particularly loving to our spouses. When we choose to love, regardless of the object of our love, we are practicing Godly charity. It is this understanding that has helped me to maintain many a relationship in which I felt wronged or dishonored. Love is sometimes a difficult choice.
So we approach our time with Kristina with that in mind. We choose to love her because Christ chose to love us. Yes, it is easy to love a child when she is sweet and thankful. But when she challenges our authority, we will love her. When she doesn't trust us, we will love her. We will love her because it is an extension of the grace of God in all of our lives.
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