louder than Words. 4 comments

I couldn’t write yesterday and if I’m being really honest I’m finding it hard to write today but I feel like I must.

Yesterday I sat at Mass and realized that since Mr. Irish and I started dating/courting I stopped writing about what I want in a man and what a real godly man should be like.  Maybe it is because I didn’t want to put pressure on him or maybe it was because I thought I found him so there was no point in writing about Mr. Godly Man anymore.  Whatever the reason was, I’m convinced, perhaps now more than ever, that I must keep writing about Mr. Godly Man.

Sunday night I fell apart in the church because I needed to.  As I sat there in the darkened, quiet church I stared up at the crucifix and thought to myself, “I never have to doubt or question His love for me.  And if for some reason I do, His actions speak louder than words.”  Make no mistake, His words, literally the Word Made Flesh, speaks quite loudly.  His words are amazing, full of love and reassurance, comfort and strength.  But His actions not only match His words, they speak louder than His words.  Mr. Godly Man will act and speak in the same way.  Jesus tells us, “as the Father loves me, so I also love you” (John 15:9).  And in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he tells men that they are to love women as Christ loved the Church.  Mr. Godly Man, therefore, will love as Christ loved us, his words will match his actions, but more than that his actions will speak louder than his words.  His love for me and for you will be evident by the way he lives his life, by the love and respect he has for you and by the sacrifices he will make for you.  His love for you, if it is real and true, will be shown in his words and his actions as he seeks to imitate Christ every moment of every day. Certainly he will fall short because he, godly though he may be, is not God.  But the difference between Mr. Godly Man and Mr. Faker is that Mr. Godly Man will keep trying and he will allow the love you have for each other, and more importantly the love that he has for God, to fill him with the strength to keep trying even when the going gets tough.

That’s the jist of the blog that I had in my head yesterday before I was overcome with…life.  Today, there is more to this story and it goes like this:
I have no idea what I’d like to write.  There are a million jumbled thoughts in my head and I have no idea where to begin.  I’d like to write some brilliant post about what’s going on, some great insight that I’ve learned in the last 24 hours but I’m not sure I’m there yet. 

Love is shown in actions, right?  Perhaps the lack of words, the silence can speak louder than any words can.  Perhaps doing what someone asks, even if it isn’t what you want shows more love than any words ever could.  Perhaps walking away, laying down your own heart in the process, shows a love far deeper than anyone ever knew existed.  Perhaps it is in laying down our own lives and our own desires for those that we love that we discover just how deep our love is.  Perhaps in dying, we can rise to the realization that our love is true, no matter how much it is about to be tested.  Perhaps it is only in letting go that we can ever receive.  Perhaps our self-sacrifice speaks the loudest of all.  I hope it does, and my hope in this comes from Jesus, who laid down His life and His heart in the process and showed us a love far deeper than we had ever conceived of.  His death allowed for true love to triumph over everything.  In that simple truth I find hope.

And I can’t help but meditate on His words:
“No one has greater love than this,to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” – John 15:13 [or anyone that you love for that matter]
“This I command you: love one another” – John 15:17
“Remain in my love” – John 15:9
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 16:25

May our words always match our actions, but more importantly may our actions speak louder than our words and may they always speak of the love God has for us.

What I’m Listening To/What Is Stuck In My Head:

“Let It Go” by Tenth Avenue North
“You Were On The Cross” by Matt Maher
“Fight” by Patrick Finegan
“Empty and Beautiful” by Matt Maher

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4 thoughts on “louder than Words.

  • Kristi

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE this conversation! Kelley, I think you are so right! I’m not sure I know what the cause is, but I definitely was taught things like how a man “should” treat me. I very much subscribed to what a man needed to be for ME, which I think was ultimately a pretty selfish response. When I did actually fall in love for the first time, it was a radical mind shift from who should he be for me to who should I be for HIM. Of course this was crazy challenging and scary and vulnerable, but I think that is what love is supposed to be. And then when we did break up, I was able to walk away from the relationship with peace, because I was a better person because of loving him…

    I don’t think us young women should settle for men who do not treat us with respect, but I think there is a fine line between “not settling” and “expecting too much.” I guess that is up to each woman to determine for herself… And, although this issue primarily applies to women, I also know some men who are waiting for the “perfect” woman before even asking girls on dates. I think that real, Christian love rejects this kind of thinking because Christ loved PEOPLE, not IDEALS and we are called to love people, not ideals.

    I LOVE what a beautiful example you and Ed are to everyone in your lives- you guys truly give us young, unmarrieds a REASON to hope!

    I dont know if any of this makes sense at all, but thank you both for challenging me to think about this stuff! I love you both!

    • Amanda @ worthy of Agape

      I think you are exactly right! There is a fine line between settling and expecting too much and it is such a fine line that we often miss it all together. As for loving you said it better than I could. I think in recent weeks I’ve come to see how much I have expected of love and relationships and yet how little I gave in response. It is challenging and scary but that is what love is supposed to be – it challenges you to be a better person, one who depends more on God who showed us the perfect example of love through Christ’s sacrifice.

      It does make sense – thank you SO much for your insights!

  • Amanda @ worthy of Agape

    I’m not sure what raised the standards but I think they needed to be raised. Do I think that all expectations will be met all of the time? Surely not, but that doesn’t mean that the goal shouldn’t be lofty. If we set our standards low and they are met, what are we really achieving?
    Really, there is no point in expecting perfection at any age because we only find perfection in Christ, and we have to find that perfection first and seek Him more than we seek our significant other. I’m so glad that you and your husband have weathered the storms of life together and I have no doubt that God has blessed your relationship throughout the years.
    Certainly – don’t give up hope. Hope for crazy joyful, Christ-centered love and if and when you find it, hold on to it with everything you have because at the end of the day relationships – with God, with each other – are all that truly matters. May we all find that person who encourages us to be the best version of ourselves and prepares us to reach perfection in Heaven.

  • Kelley Contreras

    I have been struggling with the question of why so many young people are not getting married these days. Women in particular. In my humble opinion, the Theology of the Body movement has caused women to raise their expectations of what they want in “Mr. Godly Man” and quite honestly there is no one who can meet those expectations. Really, if we expect perfection from one another at such a young age, there is little hope in finding a mate. And then as we grow older, we become set in our ways and it becomes very difficult to let another person in. My husband and I have recently celebrated our 28th anniversary. We have struggled and fallen and grown and taken steps backward and now as we are entering our fifties we both recognize that we are so blessed to have accepted and held on to one another through so many trials and God has truly blessed us for the commitment we have made and kept in spite of so many imperfections on each of our parts.
    Young adults – don’t give up hope! Don’t expect perfection, but do expect crazy joyful love. Without that at the beginning of a relationship it will be hard to keep going when the going gets rough. Be patient and trust God, who will show us the person He has intended for us, and help us all grow to perfection in His time, not in ours.