Saturday, July 31, 2010

Unconditional Acceptance

Kyle and I are so blessed to be surrounded by such godly influences. We have several families who we can turn to for guidance and counsel, prayer requests, and just great fellowship. One of the women, who I just adore, gave me a great book as part of our wedding gift. It's called Creative Counterpart, written by Linda Dillow. I'm about halfway through it, and even though I think it's geared a little more to housewives/stay-at-home moms, the foundational truths found in this book are ones that every wife or woman who hopes to be a wife one day needs to know and remember.

Let me share just one little section on acceptance with you. I think this can be applied to anyone in our lives, not just spouses.

"As a college student I was invited to hear a speaker talk about the claims of Jesus Christ. I went because I was religious, and besides, I was interested in the boy who had invited me. That night I heard for the first time that Christianity is not a list of rules, it is not an ethical code or a philosophy of life. It is a relationship- a relationship with Jesus Christ. And I learned that I could enter into this relationship realizing that I needed Christ, that I could not earn my way to heaven by my good life, by my sincere efforts, or by my religious activity.

Never have I been willing to admit I was sinful. Sin was murder and adultery, and besides, I tried hard. Sincerity had to count for something. Through God's Word I realized that sin is not just deed but attitudes- an attitude of indifference or independence of God- and that my sins separated me from God. Christ was the only One who could forgive my sin...

For twenty years I had been trying to grow and yet had not been born spiritually...I'd gone through all the religious motions and called myself a Christian, never knowing who Jesus Christ really is and what He has done for me...

God's grace is the foundation of partner acceptance. I personally believe it is very difficult, it not impossible, to accept your husband unless you have experienced God's forgiveness and acceptance yourself."

It's so true. It is so easy for us to dismiss others when we don't necessarily like certain things about them, because we know that "people probably don't like certain things about us either." Our pride disguises our need for acceptance. But what if God just dismissed us and turned his nose up at us because He doesn't like certain things about us. Well, guess what. God doesn't like many things that we do. But here's the good news. He loves us anyway. And He accepts us we are and loves us unconditionally. And being believers, shouldn't we try to be as gracious and loving as the One we serve? Besides, we are commanded to!

"A new commandment I give to you, that you will love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

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