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Firm Foundation Of Love
This is a picture of my parents when they were younger. I had never seen it before, and my Aunt Margaret sent it to my dad who just posted it. Some people may be asking, "Why is Ryan being a big cheese-ball and posting a picture of his parents from back in the day, probably before he was born?" Well, after my mom passed away a lil' over 4 years ago, I realized how short life can be and how important family is. Yes, I am far away from family while living in Elizabethtown, KY, but I love my family so much and value every second I get to spend with them. So, first of all, this picture reflects a piece of my mom that brings back wonderful memories I have of her as well as bringing to life the beauty that she has passed on to her children and grandchildren. Also, this picture could not have been introduced at a better time (around Valentine's Day). It reminds me of how my parents taught me to LOVE the right way... I'm not saying they never had tough times, but overall, the way they loved each other and the way they loved others has taught me to love people the right way, even through the times it is "difficult" to love one another. They taught me to have a "firm foundation of love" that can endure through any storm.
Anyone can love someone when they are being showered with gifts, when they are having a good day, when they get to do what they want, when they aren't struggling with money, when they aren't in disagreement about something, etc. It takes a special kind of love to endure the tough times... to endure the things that just plain out don't feel good at all. If you learn how to love through those moments, you have succeeded in truly loving someone. My parents shared this love, and it has taught me much. And it is obvious that the kind of Agape Love they shared with each other and with others reflects the Love of God. I don't believe it is possible to love in that way unless we allow God to show His Love through us. I am so thankful for my parents for teaching me to love. It will help me to love the way I need to love my future wife someday. It has already helped me to love those who have hurt me in some way as well. Yes, they even taught me to not hold grudges and love my enemies that may do wrong against me. I am forever grateful for this. I'd like to think that these lessons I've learned in loving the right way have helped me to limit the number of people who dislike me as a person. I know that you cannot get everyone to like you, but in the same light, I think it is unwise to assume that a specific person is bound to "dislike" you forever. It may be for a season, but I believe it is our duty to do all we can to make peace with one another. We must do our part and leave the rest for God. And those who only choose to see our faults/failures will be given many an opportunity to make things right in their own hearts.
Anyway, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day and encourage you to love beyond just the "easy" kind of love. Has this holiday become a day of expectations being let down? Do you only focus on wondering how your girl/guy is going to surprise you and make you feel all warm & fuzzy inside? I think the best thing we ALL can do (not just those couples in a relationship/marriage) is to keep our focus on how we may show love/care toward others. When we take the focus off of ourselves, we will not be let down. By doing so, there is more love to be taken in by others and by YOU, because we eliminate the element of selfishness.
Again, Happy Valentine's Day! Hope everyone finds happiness and contentment, focusing on the GOOD in their lives. That's the way to do it!