Monday, First Week of Lent

Monday, First Week of Lent

Love and Relationships

“You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2

All our struggles in relationships are connected with what I like to call the relationship between the “first love” and the “second love.” The first love is from God, who loved us before we were born. The second love is from our parents, brothers, sisters, and friends, and it is only a reflection of that first love. Sometimes we expect from the second love what only the first love. Then we experience anguish. My personal struggle has always been that I expected a first love from someone who could only give a second love.

As soon as we demand a first love, an unconditional, total, self-giving love, from another human being, who is limited in ability to give and receive, we will be disappointed. Quite quickly we feel anguish and may even resort to violence because we demand from a person what that person cannot give. The other person has no choice but to back off, pull back, and perhaps feel hurt, angry or guilty.

  • Gracious God, give me courage to find the first love in you, and to not demand it from my loved ones.

Lenten Reflections on the Parable of the Prodigal Son by Henri J. M. Nouwen