Pickle Heaven Press-James R. Johnson

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a lover’s leap — July 20, 2022

a lover’s leap

When my future wife Sharie, first saw me, I was a musician with thick, kinky, red hair that went down to the middle of my back and a beard that made me look like I had the mange.  She was not interested. 

Months later I had been groomed.  Then she was interested, but I was not.  I thought she might be attracted to a musician instead of me.

In the meantime, I had vainly dated several girls and we clashed.

One day, I thought, “The ancient Jewish culture had an advantage. Parents assisted in match making and they were equipped with an objective perspective of their kids.”

God had blessed me with a Christian couple, Les and Jacquie Zartman, who had been like parents to me – and knew me well.  Through the years, they only had but one comment to make about my dating life.  They told me I should get to know Sharie Scott. 

Oh my!  Sharie?  We happened to work at the same place.  So even though I didn’t feel it at the time, by faith, I asked her out.

We had dinner, then played board games with friends.  I was pleased with evening.

That Monday, work was slow, so the boss happened to assign just Sharie and me to remodel the break trailer. 

I was done playing the dating game, so I gave her the third degree, while we worked.

By Friday, my former indifference had morphed into a passionate desire to make her my wife.  She was the one I knew that I needed to marry.

God taught me a lot about love through this experience.

– Love is a decision

It was the counsel of friends that caused me to do a 180 with Sharie.  Love begins with a decision.  That’s why Jesus could say “Love your enemies.”  (Luke 6:27) He treated love as if it were a function of the will.  

Love is sustained by choices as well.   Every day and through every season of life – we must choose again to love that person to whom we are pledged.

– Love is a verb

Past experiences taught me that what I got out of a relationship was proportionate to what I put into it.  I had been putting next to nothing in – so the relationships were lame.

With Sharie, I engaged.  I took her to dinner and shared her company with my friends.  We talked non-stop for a week (a big stretch for me) I bought her a crock pot. (seriously).  I found ways to serve her, though my heart had not yet caught up.  (That took a whole week!)

In Luke 6:27, Jesus continued, “Do good (even) to those who hate you.”  Whether we feel it or not – we need to do the work of love.

– Love is a skill that needs to be learned

Paul instructed older women to teach younger women how to love their husbands and children. (Titus 2:4)

Love is a skill that needs to be learned.  As a 20 something, I knew I was ignorant, so I read my Bible and I watched my mentors and learned. 

– The feelings of love are the fruit of the work of love. 

I had decided to pursue Sharie and actively invest in and love her.  The emotions followed.  The feelings of love became the fruit of the work of love.

We married 6 months after that first date.  And recently celebrated 45 years together.  She is my best friend and the love of my life and there is no one I would rather be with.

Love is a decision.  Is there someone that you need to choose to love today?   Or maybe rechoose to love?   Love is a verb:  No time for coasting – reengage and serve that one you love. Love is a skill that needs to be learned.  Read a book.  Find a mentor.  Through every era of life, new skills will need to be learned.

A PRAYER: Lord continue to teach us how to love as You love.

This has been Jim Johnson with pickleheavenpress.com

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 

Bible references from the NETBible ®

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