What is Love?

love

Love is a very difficult word to wrap our minds around. I love my wife, but I also love my dog. I love my children, but I also love pizza. At a very early age, children learn to discern the meaning of this word through context clues. Mama whispers, “I love you,” while rocking her baby but she also declares her love for her favorite television program. As Christians, we need to dig deeper and understand that love as a word has been abused and cheapened. We need to restore the concept of God-ordained love to the core of what drives our families. 

Love, true love, relies upon the Holy Spirit to experience the great joy of the presence of the Lord. Love calls us to forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ dripping from the cross. Love allows the missionary to leave a family and country behind in order to present the Gospel to a people who would never hear the name of Jesus any other way. Love is what prompted the Father to create a universe with the foreknowledge that the created would betray Him and walk away from His love. Perhaps the Apostle John pondered this while declaring “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Followers of Christ have been blessed with the indescribable love of the Father. We are the vessels into which the Spirit chooses to pour His holiness in order that we might be useful (2 Timothy 2:21). Out of all creation, only mankind is capable of having this type of relationship with the Father (Psalm 8:3-8). Even though we were created for this, we do not all receive this relationship. In fact, God’s Word is extremely clear. Only those who have chosen to come to God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross can be restored to the right relationship with God (John 14:6). Only through repentant faith in the death and resurrection of the Son can anyone be saved (Ephesians 2:8-10). The only hope any person has is to cast themselves upon the mercy of the Almighty God and begin to live a life for the Son.

Once we begin to follow Christ, our desire should be to declare the love of Christ with all those we care about. Christ was very clear that His followers are the method He has chosen to reveal the Gospel, His love, to the World (Matthew 28:19). It isn’t optional. We tell others because of our great gratitude and love for the Father. We tell others because of His great love and sacrifice for us. We tell others because the God of all creation has chosen to reside within us and compels us forward. When we tell others, we find that Holy Spirit gives us His words and power (Matthew 10:19). This desire to lead others to Christ should permeate all areas of our life, but especially to our families.

In my next few blog entries, we will be looking at how to declare God’s love to our families, and more specifically, to our children. It is my desire that you will pull into the presence of God and declare His love to your family. In the meantime, consider these questions: “What does it mean to be in a loving relationship with the Father?” and “What role should the family play in salvation?”