This week on the Redeemed Girl blog our dear friend, Sharie King opens up about a subject near and dear to our hearts: loving Jesus more. As a new believer, the prayer that changed my life and radically rocked my world was when I asked God to give me a heart to love Him more than anything else in this world. Therefore, I’m so grateful to have Sharie speak into this subject for Redeemed Girl. —Marian Jordan Ellis, Founder of RGM
The day is finally over! My hand grabs the last glass from the sink and places it in the dishwasher. If I can only muster enough energy to scoop the dry soap, close the dishwasher door, and push the start button, I will be free…free to shed my shoes and plop down on that couch that’s calling my name.
I’m finally horizontal. My feet are up on the ottoman, and my head is resting on my comfy couch pillow. My heavy eyelids start to close when the irresistible voice of my youngest son steals away any opportunity to rest. “Mama, will you scratch my back?” I know you think he’s so sweet, and you’re right, but, Sharie the worn-out human being just wants to fall asleep on the couch. Thankfully, Sharie the mom, remembers that soon her sweet boy will become too embarrassed to ask for a “scratch the back” as we call it.
So I lift my arm to the official scratching position and commence my motherly duty. I fall asleep, and an hour later, I wake up in a panic. “Guys, it’s bed-time!” I get up off the couch and stumble half-asleep toward my room when I hear, “Will you tuck me in?” My mind argues, “Seriously? No way! Tuck yourself in!” But his clear blue eyes cast a spell on me, and I find myself standing in his dark room waiting for Joseph to brush his teeth and climb into his bunk-bed.
Once he’s laying down, I follow him up the ladder, hug his little neck, kiss his freckled cheek and speak these words to his soul, “I love you, and I’m proud of the man of God you’re becoming.” Descending the ladder, his tender voice responds, “I love you more!”
It’s the first time he’s ever said it. As I process his words, my eyes begin to leak tears, and a flood of warm love flows down my throat settling in my heart. I realize that I almost missed this moment. His innocent confession keeps circling through my mind, “I love you more.” I want to hear it. I need to hear it.
When I was lying on the couch, every part of me wanted to resist guilt-love. I was more in love with my sleep than my priceless son on this monumental night. I didn’t want to scratch, or wait as he brushed his teeth, or climb the bunk-bed ladder. I didn’t want to love Joseph more, but on that fateful evening, my mom-guilt made me.
John 15:9-12 says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Have Jesus’ words ever felt intimidating to you? They’ve intimidated me. I’ve wondered if Jesus still loves me when I don’t keep his commands, when I mess up or fail to love him more than myself. Have you ever wondered how to make yourself love Jesus more? Me too.
If we were standing face-to-face, you might assume this pastor’s wife has it all together. But if we talked over coffee, I would confess to you how hard it is for me to love Jesus more than myself.
He’s so perfect. I’m so not. He’s so God. I’m so—definitely—not. I know Jesus deserves all my love and I bet you do, too. My soul wants to live in the safety of his love and favor, but often my actions don’t match my desire?
A few years ago, Jesus showed me John 3:27, which says, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (John 3:27). I took these words literally and prayed for Jesus to give me a greater love for him. Since this prayer, he’s taken me on a journey of discovering how to love him more than myself…how to become who He’s designed me to be. I recorded what I learned in a book called, I Love You More (except when I don’t): Fighting To Keep Jesus First, hoping that I could help others walk this journey too! If this is also a journey you feel called to travel, I’d love to walk beside you.
You can purchase ILYM on my website or on Amazon on July 7th. As you read it, I’d love for you to share the story Jesus is writing in your heart! You can share it with me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to hear from you soon!
When Sharie was twelve, she couldn’t imagine doing anything other than serving Jesus with her life. Sharie fulfills this calling by traveling and speaking at colleges, churches and various events and in her writing career. She and her husband, Clayton, founded Clayton King Ministries and have been serving together since 1997. Sharie is a wife to Clayton, a mother to Jacob and Joseph and two cute dogs named Niko and Theo. She loves art and painting, skiing (water and snow), hiking followed by a spa day, and a good book.