The honeymoon is over. On the honeymoon, the bride and groom pamper and primp before going to bed. They fix their hair, spray cologne, and wear oh-so-perfect bedtime attire to make sure everything about them invites kisses and cuddles and ooshy-gooshy romance.
Last night, Superman came to bed wearing an old, stained t-shirt.
Me: What is that?
Me: That . . . thing you’re wearing. It looks like it’s growing a fungus.
Him: I dunno. It’s clean. I just washed it.
Me: Please wear something else to bed. I feel like you’re going to contaminate me.
He gets this wicked gleam in his eye. Strips off his shirt. Walks to the closet.
I smile triumphantly.
That’s when he starts rubbing his shirt all over my clothes, hanging neatly in my side of the closet.
Me: What are you doing?
Him: I’m contaminating your clothes, so we’ll have a matched set.
Then he puts the shirt back on, along with a Cheshire-cat grin, and crawls in bed.
There’s something wrong with that man.
Sometimes, love is sweet like cotton candy. Other times, it’s like a fungus. It gets all over you and spreads, whether you like it or not, consuming every part of you.
I know my kids can probably relate to the fungus analogy. They don’t always understand my love for them when it comes in the form of rules and restrictions, curfews and commentary. Deep down, they know I love them, but that love doesn’t always feel sweet.
God’s love for us is perfect, but it’s not always pleasant.
Sometimes it displays itself as flower-laced fields and fragrant meadows. He surrounds me with blessings I can’t even count, many I don’t even notice. He gives me everything I need, and many things I don’t need, just because He is kind and compassionate, generous and good.
Other times, His love feels like a root canal. A necessary nightmare, more painful than palliative. He withholds things I want, because He knows they’ll hurt me. He lets me experience the consequences of my own rebellion. In those moments, His love doesn’t feel so great, and I question His intent, doubt His sincerity.
But what happens if the root canal is left to fester? What happens when there are no rules and regulations and curfews? What if I fail to talk to my kids about life’s potholes and pitfalls?
What if God withheld his wisdom, and let me do whatever I wanted without warning me?
I don’t even want to think about that.
I crawled into bed, being careful to stay as close to my edge as possible. I could hear Superman sniggering from the other side of the bed.
Me: That was mean. Why on earth would you do that?
Him: Because I love you.
Me: How do you figure that?
Him: I just gave you something to write about, and your article is due tomorrow.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 8:38-39.