Love, Reconciliation and Selflessness


Last year when Beyonce dropped Lemonade, I wrote about it. I talked about how her fearless vulnerability and openness should inspire us to speak about—however privately or publicly—the truths in our lives.

This year, the tune is a bit different. After her amazing Grammy performance that planted goosebumps on my skin, I’m coming from a different angle: the selfless act of reconciliation—and the overall selflessness of love.

Beyonce’s Lemonade—as we know by now—was an ode to the stages of a relationship, from heartbreak to make-up. She took us through the many emotions we may face in our relationships. The trouble. The struggles. The forgiveness. As we parade around claiming Beyonce and Jay-Z as "relationship goals", we, for a long time prior to the release of this album, have forgotten the importance of the latter. The reality that all of our relationships will require reconciliation and forgiveness. The unavoidable fact that our relationships will go through tests, but the true strength of our love is the ability to endure those tests. The ability to continue on—to reconcile—despite the implications or heartbreak of those tests. The ability to do so, not just for you, but for the well-being of your partner and the purpose of God. (Because here, I'm talking about a God-ordained love, not a lustful infatuation). 

Love is selfless. That’s biblical. And the thing we must realize when we get in relationships, profess our love, and claim we're working toward something that'll last 'forever' is that it is beyond us. It is beyond the pain we feel in that moment, and the tears we may cry on our bathroom floors. It is beyond our desire for ease. It is beyond our desire to fulfill ourselves, but is made whole in our desire to see our partner happy and liberated. 

The truth is, love isn't about us. We were created to love those around us, for no immediate advantage to ourselves (though I will say uninhibited love is freedom). Oppositely, we were created to love to provide an advantage to those of whom we love. To encourage and uplift them. To be a necessary light in their lives. To, in some way, serve them how they may not have otherwise been able to serve themselves. To honor and appreciate them. To submit to them (romantic love). To help make straight their paths, in the eyes of the Lord. To provide for them what we long for: partnership, care, and unconditional (judgement-free) companionship.

And while hoping that that is reciprocated—that the love we give them is matched equally—it is not, and should not be what we’re in this for. So when we talk about forgiveness and reconciliation, know that it may hurt you, and that pain may not be fair, but it is in fact what we're called to do.

Love cannot survive from our constant desire to take, but from our willingness to pour into it things that are beneficial to the people we love—whether they're beneficial to us or not. It's running to our partner's aid at 3:00 in the morning because they've barely been able to sleep. It's stepping outside of our comfort zone to find ways to make them most comfortable. It's doing things we never thought we would, and probably never wanted to, to see a smile plant on their face. 

Love isn't to satisfy us but to satisfy our partner. So reconciliation, too, may not necessarily be for us. It may not be so we can feel release, but instead, so we could continue being the light we were purposed to be in their lives. So that we could continue providing them with the love God desires for them to have, whether they've yet been able to reciprocate it or not. Whether it's unfair or not. Whether we think they deserve it or not. 

I’m a huge advocate for women leaving no good men, so by no means am I telling you to run back to John John or Pookie who’s emotionally abusive and spiritually destructive. What I am saying, however, is that to solidify the love you’ve so desperately longed for—a God-ordained love—you must put your feelings to the side and commit to reconciliation and forgiveness; because love is more than a feeling. You must think outside of your desire that love is meant to make you feel good and acknowledge that this love, this pending marriage, is deeper. You must humbly recognize that sometimes love means sacrifice and suffering—as God's love for us, meant the crucifixion of Christ. 

The act of selfless love will hurt. Forgiving will hurt. Reconciliation will hurt; sometimes more than leaving. You may never understand it. You may never know why God is pressing you to continue to love him. You may never comprehend why he gets to still be the recipient of goodness while you're struggling to provide it. But know that the purpose your love serves in the life of someone else is greater than the pain you endure. Know that that transformation your life will experience because of that selflessness is worth the pain. And remember that in the midst of the mess your relationship has spiraled into, this moment—your obedience here—can be the difference between a God-ordained marriage, and a regular ole earthly one.

Beyonce, sung on that Grammy stage, pregnant, by a husband she previously revealed had cheated on her. That was strength. That was forgiveness. That was reconciliation. And I can be sure, that that was a transformative moment in both her and her husband's life. 
Love is an act; and, it's a call from God. When God calls you to a partner, and requires you to stay with that partner despite your discomfort, He's calling you to grow deeper in love. He's preparing you for things you may not even realize you want yet. He's introducing you to the meaning of love that's been present since the creation of mankind, when God sent Himself down in a sin infested world to save the world because of His love for us (John 3:16). So while it may be hard...hard as hell...please trust this process of growth and transformation. Continue to allow the bright parts of your spirit to illuminate your partner's life. Continue to seek God to get you through the parts that are too hard for you emotionally, and don't give up. Your God-ordained blessing is right there, don't let it go (unless, of course, He tells you to). 

P.S. I meant to hit 'publish' on this post shortly after the Grammy's, but life happened. Love me anyway. 

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