Steel Magnolias

I John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

Have you ever held a magnolia? I have. We have a magnolia tree in our yard. The flower looks delicate. But actually, it’s a pretty sturdy flower. The leaves are thick and tough. And the smell? Beautiful.


That’s how real love is. It may look soft. It may smell sweet. But when it comes right down to it, it is sturdy and strong. That’s the kind of love Jesus had – he loved us enough to lay down His life for us.

Wow. Love holds a pretty high standard. Jesus died for me because He loves me. Does this mean He wants me to die for others . . . ? Probably not. As a matter fact, He probably wants us to do just the opposite. He wants us to live for others.

But wait a minute. Live for others? Sometimes, dieing would be easier! Living for others, laying down our lives for others often means giving up our own personal wants, needs, desires, and letting others have their way.

Does that mean He wants us to be doormats? Of course not. A doormat is weak and flimsy. The kind of love Jesus wants us to have for others is the steel kind. It is beautiful and solid. It carries with it the kind of strength that is able to endure hardship and discomfort so that others will not have to. It is the kind of strength that will go without food so another can eat, sleep on the floor so another can have the bed, stand in the shadows so another can have the spotlight. The kind of love Jesus wants for us is the kind of love that will give life to other people, and in the process, will truly set us free from bondage to our own selfish desires!

That kind of love is neither natural nor easy. But then, if love were easy, the pay-off wouldn’t be nearly as great. I’m so glad God has the steel kind of love for me. Aren’t you?

Dear Father, I admit that I can’t even begin to understand the kind of love You have for me, or the kind of love You want me to have for other people. Please help me to grow in my ability to love as You love.

8 Responses to Steel Magnolias

  1. May 27, 2009 #

    Dear Renae,
    I like the image of love being like the “steel magnolia”. (loved the film too).
    My feelings may vary like the waves of the sea.
    God’s love is steady and faithful.
    I know I must put my trust and faith, not in my week and changing
    feelings, but in the never changing the rock of ages.

    I needed to be reminded of this, because in often despair over my own weakness, about getting hurt and offended.
    I can relate to what you said;”That kind of love is neither natural nor easy. ”
    Just therefore I can get find it in God’s divine love .
    I’ll carry that in mind as I go out in the day.
    A strong morning coffee!
    From Felisol

  2. May 27, 2009 #

    Dear Felisol,

    Your words are always wise. I think it’s in recognizing our own weaknesses that He makes us strong with His strength, His love. I get hurt easily, too, and it’s only when I admit that I CAN’T love someone, that He helps me to do exactly that. He helps me to love when I can’t. And I suppose that’s a miracle, worked right within my own soul, don’t you?


  3. May 27, 2009 #

    What a beautiful image/symbol, Renae. Fragrant, pure white, delicate looking, but tough as leather.

    Thanks for another poignant reminder of who I’m supposed to be.


  4. May 27, 2009 #

    Hi Jean! I have a feeling you already resemble that magnolia . . .

  5. May 27, 2009 #

    Hi Renae,

    What Jean said! I had the same thoughts.

    Love you,

  6. May 27, 2009 #

    Thanks, Anne. Love you too. 🙂


  7. May 28, 2009 #

    Great analogy for love..

    The magnolias are blooming here and smell heavenly. Will think of your words when I come across them on my run.

  8. May 28, 2009 #

    Thanks, Jamie!

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