Pastor and author Rick Warren once said that “While it’s wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experience of others.”
That’s why stories and testimonies are so powerful! Through them you can gain insights and inspiration for your own life and in your own family.
Last week and this week I asked several women, “How has God challenged you to love those close to you? Or how have you been shown love in a deeply meaningful way?” Here are their inspirational stories, 5 true stories about real love from everyday families like yours. I hope they encourage you as much as they have me.
Tell the nations about his glory. Tell all people about the wonderful things he has done.
1 Chronicles 16:24
“I served on a worship team at church with another young woman who was one of the most “prickly” people I’d ever met. She seemed determined to keep me at a distance. When I made an effort to be her friend, she responded rudely.
“Before our staff winter retreat, I discovered we’d be roommates! We were the only two single women on the team. Before leaving for the retreat, I opened my Bible to 1 Corinthians 13 and began to proclaim loudly, personalizing as I went: “(My name) is patient… to (her name!) (My name) is kind… to (her name!)…” and continued right on through the chapter. I determined to love her like God’s Word said and set off for the weekend.
“We came home from that weekend fast friends! Since then we’ve supported each other on different missions trips and were even in each others’ wedding! It was a great life-lesson for me with a great pay-off.”
Love each other as I have loved you – John 15:12
“My husband doesn’t always keep his promises. That’s not such a big deal when you promise to pick up laundry soap on the way home from church and forget. But other times when he makes a promise and doesn’t follow through it stings.
“One time he promised we’d go on a special date—I was left with a big hole of disappointment.
“Why does this keep happening? I wondered and started thinking of all the times I’d been let down, the birthday party, and the anniversary, and the… I felt the Holy Spirit stop me before I could go on. He reminded me of 1 Corinthians 13:5: “Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs.”
“Love doesn’t mean forgetting. Something did happen, and it’s impossible to delete it from my mind. But love means I don’t keep score. I don’t tuck away what happened and hold it against him.”
Love…keeps no record of wrongs – 1 Corinthians 13:5
“We have two daughters, ages nine and eleven. They aren’t perfect but they do love each other. The other day I discovered just how much.
“When our oldest daughter had surgery a few years ago, her grandma gave her a stuffed animal. It’s her absolute favorite, has a special place in her heart, and has been a comfort to her.
“Recently her teacher asked her to write about her most valuable possession. The assignment was just meant to be an exercise writing descriptive sentences. Then, it turned into something more.
“My daughter wrote about her special stuffed animal, where she got it and how much it meant to her. Then on her own she added, “Even though it would be very hard to give him away, there’s someone I love even more–my sister. If I had to give it away, it would be to get back something my sister loved. I’d still sacrifice it, because if my sister needs me, I’d be there for her.”
“What do I credit this to? She’s got Jesus in her heart!”
Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as…sacrifice – Ephesians 5:2
“When I first got married a few years ago, I was a terrible cook. I’d burn toast. I’d mix the wrong ingredients into mashed potatoes. I desperately wanted to share the love I felt for my husband through my cooking. So I called out to God for help.
“He showed me how to incorporate self-control in choosing healthy and fresh ingredients, patience through timing out the meal properly, kindness in considering the textures and proportions for each bite, perseverance in not giving up when things went wrong, and hope for creating an edible final result.
“Today during each step of preparing a meal, I praise God’s name and thank Him for the privilege of being loved and being able to express my love. While I still make mistakes with cooking, God never makes mistakes with His love.”
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – Galatians 5:22-23
“When I was in high school, my dad gave up his Saturday mornings every week for four years, driving me to early morning youth symphony rehearsals. While I rehearsed, he worked till noon. Setting up chairs, tearing them down, cleaning up after various sectional rehearsals and theory classes—all this in exchange for a scholarship so I could be part of the orchestra. He was a man who not only told me he loved me, but also showed me… especially on Saturday mornings!”
Love…is not self-seeking – 1 Corinthians 13:5
How has God challenged you to love like he does or how has someone shown you love the way God does?
Thanks to all the women who shared their testimonies both last week and this week!
© Carol Garborg, 2021