“A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity,” -Proverbs 17:17
How does one say, “I love you”? In many ways, you might say. We all have our own way of saying these three words or expressing them in our own love language. Whether it is to a spouse, a dear friend, a parent or a child—we normally do not have a problem saying those words to those we truly care for. But for some it may be difficult. Why? Is it because of the way you were raised as a child? Was it common practice to hear in your home? Maybe something in your past happened and hindered you from the expression of love to others because of the pain and hurt you have experienced. There are many reasons why “love” is difficult to express.
As believers, we are not just encouraged to love but commanded to do so (John 15:17, 2 John 1:6). In Scripture, we are told what love actually looks like:“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). The Father must have known by the way He was treated that we might have some challenges with loving completely, so He has given us examples of what it must look like. Sometimes it is difficult, just as it was difficult for Jesus as He endured such pain from the very ones He came to earth to help. However, if only we can be examples out of obedience first, I believe He will honor that step as we move toward that love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13.
It is our responsibility as believers to love as Christ loves us—an example of how to love without expecting anything in return. We are even told to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). This can be very difficult when someone has wronged you. It is out of obedience to the Creator of the universe, to love—regardless of sin, regardless of hurt, regardless of what they can do in return. Love is a powerful expression and emotion of what we have available to us in our very finite minds. We can’t really begin to understand the type of love or even the depth of Christ’s love for us as He went through the horrible experience of being beaten, spat on, mocked, and crucified on the cross.
The best way to understand and attempt to love on that level is to remember the cross that Jesus bore. Understanding the love Christ has for each of us can motivate you to love the way he has demonstrated His love for us. Romans 5:6 tells us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Remember who you are and whose you are and our commandment to love one another! Be encouraged, my brothers and sisters!
Written by Melissa Roberts, Site Director for Online and McDonough