Friday, May 17, 2013

I Love You Because I Love You

Sometimes when I'm feeling really flirty, I will hide behind a section of my hair and bat my eyes at my husband, and I'll ask him, "Why do you love me?" It's really embarrassing to admit that I do this, but it's always in the privacy of our own home or while sitting at a dark, candlelit table in a restaurant, so it's not like you have to watch this ridiculous display. He always answers the same way.

I love you because I love you.

It might sound kind of like a cop out, but it really is one of the most comforting things I've heard in my entire life. What Daniel means by this (and by the way, it's a concept he learned in a sermon by Tim Keller) is that it would do our relationship no service if his answer was I love you because you are beautiful or I love you because you are intelligent or I love you because you are funny. While those are all things that I love hearing about myself, if those were the reasons Daniel loved me, I would be in a constant state of fear of losing those things. It would mean that he would always have to reassess his love for me based on those qualifications. I would be terrified of age, falling pianos (brain damage), and bad days where I don't feel like telling jokes.

But I don't have to be afraid. He loves me because he loves me. 

I'm sure you can point to someone in your life who is that for you. Someone who loves unconditionally and, sometimes, impossibly. The mystery of why they love you is overwhelming, but trust me, it's best not to question it. 

I was thinking about this when I woke up this morning -- not just with Daniel, but all of the people in my life who love me in this way. I'm in one of my life's strangest, most beautiful seasons. I am going full-force, pursuing a career in writing. I am spending my time doing what I love, and I am building my own platform, making my own rules as I go. 

It's a risky move, and some might even think it an objectively stupid one. But those are not the people in my life. The people in my life right now (at least the ones I'm listening to) are the people who love me because they love me. These are the people who over the last two months have been buying me books, coffees, dinners, and sending me articles, texts, and letters full of their love, wisdom, and support. I often start to feel guilty being on the receiving end of such gracious acts, but then one of them slaps me in the face (metaphorically) and tells me how dumb it is to feel guilty. It's awesome. 

As powerful as "I love you" can be, I would argue that equally powerful is "I believe in you." Knowing that I have a small group of people who believe in me has made all of the difference. It's made me humble and it's made me brave.

I'm saying all of this today in hopes that you, someone who is giving me the gift of your readership, can see the people in your life who love you this way. They don't love you because you are pretty or because you are nice or because you smell like lavender. They love you because they love you. They are gifts from God, and though they might not always be as good at it as God is, they are trying to love you the way He does. Listen to them, trust them, and be brave. Also, love them back.

I'm going to leave you today with a song which speaks volumes about this whole concept far better than I can. The following video is from the memorial service of Jim Henson, a man whose creations taught us pretty much all of the important lessons in life, including how to believe in our ourselves and others.


  1. That video made me laugh and almost cry! I agree with you whole-heartedly. :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Glad you liked it! I cry literally every time I watch it. And thanks for the good luck!


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