I Love You Even Though

How many times have you seen a child wreak havoc in a situation and heard a parent say (or you’ve said) in exasperation: “It’s a good thing you’re cute!” Or maybe it was “It’s a good thing I love you!” I can only imagine that’s what the mother of one young girl in California was saying recently after narrowly avoiding being led away in handcuffs.


It seems that some concerned citizens had called 911 as they were driving down the street because, unbeknownst to Mom, the girl had held up a sign in the window that said, “Help me [sic] she’s not my mom!! Help!!” At least six Highway Patrol units (including a K-9 unit) responded and performed what was called a high-risk traffic stop on the vehicle. After sorting everything out, they learned that the girl had done it as a joke. She thought it would be funny. I doubt Mom agreed. I know the police didn’t.


In February we’re reminded about romantic love, but the other side of love is that sometimes you have to love people, even when it’s hard.


The love our world displays is “I love you because….” Love the way God intended it is often “I love you despite….” It’s not as romantic as that Hallmark Christmas movie about the girl coming back to her hometown from the big city and falling in love with the lonely single dad she had previously argued with, who then helps her save the local Christmas celebration after kissing her under the mistletoe (oh wait—that’s EVERY Hallmark Christmas movie—sorry). But it’s the kind of love that’s needed most.



Love the way God intended it is a choice we make; despite the circumstances or choices the other person makes. That’s how Jesus could tell us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Love the way God intended it often involves choosing to give someone the opposite of what they deserve. But it’s the greatest type of love there is, because we all have things in our life that would give people reasons not to love us. And that’s in addition to unpleasant circumstances in which love leads us to change dirty diapers, sit in a hospital or nursing home day in and day out, or lose sleep because our loved one needs us. Sometimes we play jokes that nearly get our mom arrested.



Hopefully Mom has meted out the kind of discipline that will affect her daughter’s view of what’s funny and what’s not, so the police can keep focused on actual bad guys. But loving her despite herself isn’t an option—it’s just what moms do. The only thing about all this that amazes me is that it wasn’t a boy who did it!