When we were newly married, I traveled with Rick to a church meeting where he had spoken previously, but I had never been. They had known Teresa, his first wife of 34 years who had passed away from cancer. I was nervous but excited to meet this special group of people.
After the meeting, a woman approached me to confide that she was the second wife to her pastor husband. She, unfortunately, had a negative experience and felt she needed to warn me that the first wife will always be “the saint” and that she (and I) would never live up to her. She said it in a kind way, sort of as a way to prepare me for the hardship that I would face in the years ahead. I was taken aback by her perspective.
The truth is Rick has gone to great lengths to assure me of his complete love and devotion for me. But he has done so without minimizing his love for Teresa. I don’t think I ever thought it would be possible for someone to love two people completely, with great care and passion. Yet I have seen it with my own eyes and experienced it for myself. I continue to be in awe of the bigness of his heart, a heart that has room to love me thoroughly and to not diminish his love for Teresa.
It reminds me of God’s heart of love for you and for me. His love is so thorough that it makes us feel we are His favorite person, yet at the same time, there is no feeling of threat that He has that same passion for another. In fact, it makes us all the more in awe of Him and His big heart of love.
James 3:17 in the New Living Translation says it this way: “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”
God’s love for us is pure. It is peace-loving, gentle and sincere. It is full of mercy and good deeds. There is no favoritism, but that makes it all the more of a treasure. Let’s soak up this big, gracious love today!