“I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.”—Henry Ward Beecher
THE LOVE NOTE
I have been a “hopeless romantic” for as long as I can remember. However, I’ve never fully known love until I’ve paid the price to know it. That price has been commitment, dedication, devotion, sacrifice, forgiveness, compassion. Those are divine traits that this mortal son of God has tried to practice for your sake, for our children’s sake and for my sake. Thus, it is only since I’ve learned to love that I’ve learned to fully worship my God—not in prayers and worship meetings alone but most importantly in daily practice of loving well His children according to their birthright: That you and the children deserve to be loved well. I hope that I love you well, baby. You deserve nothing less than the very best I can give.
THE GREAT RELATIONSHIP PRINCIPLE
True love is sacred as it requires sacrifice. True sacrifice isn’t easy, however, it is sacrfice that gives up the good for the greater. False, or empty sacrifice is when we give up the good and then only note that the good was given up. That is when we “count the cost” of our sacrifice. That sacrfice is not sacred.
That which is sacred is protected and reverenced. A temple is honored and treated with respect. It is considered holy. Treat your partner and your marriage the same. However, truth is it is much easier to reverence a sacred structure than it is a relationship. A structure is constant; people fluctuate. A structure is easily identifiable as sacred; an upset, impatient and imperfect partner is not. All the more reason why I believe that our greatest opportunities for spiritual growth are in our relationships. It is in our relationships that the things we say we believe are tested to their core. It is easy for me to be pious, high-minded and reverent in my place of worship. It is not easy for me to always be so in my relationships with my spouse and children. Thus it is in those relationships that my belief is fully tested and it is there where my true character shows itself—for good or ill. Thus, when I learn to love fully and well the people who are not always easy to love fully and well, then I have fully learned to worship the Divine.
Loving another, as imperfect as you are and as imperfect as the other is, allows us to taste perfection and to get in touch with the sacred, with the Divine. Sacred love requires that I sacrifice the hardest thing to sacrifice: Ego. Pay the price that sacred love requires: The price of commitment, dedication, devotion, sacrifice, forgiveness, and compassion. These are the traits of the Divine. We can only develop transcendent love when we transcend our ego that keeps us anchored to pride and self-centeredness. Instead we must willingly trade ego for other-centeredness, which frees us into true connection with the divine nature in self and others. It is through connecting with the Divine within us and in others that we are then connected with the Divine.