I have been recently reading “Rescue the Captors” by Russell Stendal. This is an autobiography of Russell’s kidnapping by guerrilla soldier in Columbia and how he responded to his captors. Also included in the book are lessons that Russell and his ministry partner took from the beatitudes in the book of Matthew. They used these lessons in their ministry of reconciliation in relationships and families.
One of the lessons is about having the right attitude in our relationships. In this lesson, he has included a poem on love written by Doris McLaughlin titled “True Love.” I hope you find this as inspirational as I did (and I recommend reading the book.)
True love is such a rarity.
There is so much disparity, between what is good and kind and pure, and what is really used as a hook and lure
to hunt men’s souls and destroy their hearts to keep them from loving and doing their part
to alleviate suffering, pain, and disgrace to demonstrate true love to the whole human race.
There are those whose affections are based on sex, and pride, and selfishness
whose motive is that their own self be blessed.
And when the one they love doesn’t do what they said or wanted them to,
they say, “That’s fine! OK! We’re through.
Get out! I’ve had enough of you.”
Now, I ask you. Is that true love or is it just lust?
Do they devour one another and eat up their trust to take what’s given and reject you when through?
So when you’ve been hurt and played for a fool, do you clam up and become very cool towards the one who has done this to you?
Do you walk though life burned and spent?
Do you allow bitterness, anger, hurt, and pain to cause you to stumble and rob you again of life in Jesus and the peace that he gives you?
And when you’re in this spot what do you do?
Who is there to comfort you?
Well, you call upon God when you’ve walked away from the one who has hurt you and done you this way.
“But,” you say, “They have done it before and they will do it again. How can I continue being hurt by them.”
You must give it to God and forgive that sin.
Confess your faults. Ask God to forgive them.
If you choose to love, the healing will begin.
Cleanse yourself of all bitterness and strife.
Cleanse yourself and begin a new life.
Love is not bitter, is not unkind, so put on her heart and renew your mind.
Her thoughts are tender, gentle, and good.
You can’t give love and carry dead wood.
Let go of the old and begin anew.
Today is a new day made just for you.
Put their needs first, pay no attention to wrongs, just go on loving all day long.
If not, you’ll suffer for what you do.
You will suffer and they will, too.
Give up envy, jealousy, and spite– just love your spouse with all your might.
Don’t seek a reward for the things that you do, and keep no record of the wrongs suffered you.
Don’t be proud or seek your own glory– just let love tell her own story.
Don’t be boastful, haughty, or loud and don’t show off in front of a crowd.
Promote the others, be gentle and meek and tell your old self to take a back seat.
To be lowly and humble is not being weak.
Praise and appreciate others, and speak of the good, kind things that they do.
Think of the others and take not thought for you.
This is His love which will flow though you.
Give up all rights which you have for yourself — set them aside. Put them on the shelf
Resist the temptation to think evil in your heart, for this day, God has given you a new start.
True love endures and bears all things, so let love develop and let your heart spread wings,
as joy overflows from God’s heavenly springs.
Let God’s peace umpire you, as you go on loving in the things you do.
Tear down those walls that were built like Jericho. Look to Him and expect your miracle.