Love Is In the Air
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, and as the special day draws closer, we notice a difference in attitudes of people around us. There is a warmth that comes through, even among strangers who become more polite, more patient. Two people signaling their intent to take the same parking spot, pause and wait… wanting that space for their own car yet not wanting to be greedy, they allow the other person to pull in. Folks just seem to be sprinkled with a dusting of love. They can’t put it into words. But on the inside, they are pleased with themselves for considering others more than they usually would. The simple ‘thank-you’ expressed to the person holding a door open, resonates between the two of them. Every radio station plays familiar Christmas music that makes us happy. And surprisingly, our memories take us back to earlier Christmases, intermingled with thoughts of loved ones who, now, are no longer with us.
There Is No Better Time
The very meaning of Christmas is an illustration of perfect love. In pondering what Christmas really means, we think back to that first Christmas morning when the Son of God came down from heaven and was born as the infant Jesus. And what was the reason for his coming? LOVE. God loves us SO much He wanted to provide a way for us to be forever connected to Himself. The only way He could do that was to give the very best He had to give, in order that we might receive ALL that He has in store for us. These blessings are not reserved for the future. They are available to us right NOW, the moment we receive Christ into our lives.
Clear the Air
Christmas is also a sad time for many people. The most obvious reason is due to loss of a loved one, and the empty place at the Christmas dinner table. There are painful circumstances that some folks must go through right around Christmas and the memories that take them back to a happier time now sting as they long for those days. My heart goes out to those folks for whom Christmas seems to magnify their pain. And although we feel extremely blessed when we realize that we are better off than others, there can still be a sadness present in our own hearts. This is when we know that something is not right. And that “something” is lodged deep down inside of us.
Forgive and Give
Unforgiveness often holds us back from experiencing real joy. We can go through the festivities of Christmas; even manage to keep a big smile on our faces. Yet inside, there is a spot of hurt. How can you fix it? Recognize the symptoms and flush them out. Pride is at the root — believing you are right and deciding not to concede to the other person. Then resentment builds up. You may reach the point where you decide you wouldn’t want to hear from that other person even if they were to call you! You are angry at them, and mad at yourself for feeling this way. It’s a vicious cycle. What can you do?
Starting is easy. It begins with YOU forgiving whatever hurt or offence you are harboring in your heart. Honestly and completely forgive that person. Let it go. And to add to your own joy, go so far as to pray God’s blessing on the person who hurt you. Jesus said, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
The reason I say it’s easy is because it starts with a prayer between you and God. You can be totally vulnerable before God. He already knows your heart anyway, and He also knows your motives and the thoughts of the other person. Once you have turned it over to God and ask him to bless the person who has hurt you, watch things turn around. Even if it takes awhile to show up in terms of reconciliation, love is on the way.
Pour it On
Now, let’s get personal. If in your love relationship you have been feeling unappreciated, unloved or sidelined by your spouse, NOW is the time to pour on the love. That’s right. YOU be the one to make the first move and show love. Even if you and your spouse are barely speaking to one another or have been struggling to get along, you can do this. While the Christmas Spirit is everywhere, you are probably already feeling more loving towards family and friends. You may be feeling sad or remorseful for contributing to hurt in your marriage. I want to encourage you to take a giant step closer to your spouse. Perhaps it hasn’t happened in a long time, but this is the time when you will best be accepted and received with love. So don’t hold back. Begin today by demonstrating that you are sensitive to your spouse’s feelings. Show them love in words and actions. Pour on the love and enjoy the flood of love that is bursting to pour back onto you!
And oh yes — have a most BLESSED and Merry Christmas!