What have we missed?
Showering off all the bubbles on my 4-year-old during bath time (fast forward twenty years – now my editor-in-chief and one of my best friends), I turned to pick up the towel when I heard the voice of God whisper ever so gently to my soul, “Who do you love more?” Taken aback, I thought about it for a moment and responded, “I love You more… After all, You gave her to me.” At the same time, I turned with the towel in hand to dry my baby girl off as she looked up at me with her beautiful Bambi eyes and sweetly spoke, “Mommy, who do you love more, me or God?” Taken aback again, thinking, “Wait!…What?!” I smiled and replied, “I love God more!” She had the cutest facial expression, as if to say right back to me, “Wait!…What?!” Come what may, God prepared me for that very moment. If you could only imagine the joy I felt in my heart as I wrapped her in the towel, held her close and explained, “I love God more, because, I am so blessed, so grateful and so happy that He gave you to me! How could I not love God more? If it wasn’t for Him, I would not have you!” With a loving kiss on her nose, my little girl giggled with contentment.
Love is the essential foundation and necessity in life that we all need in order to truly live established, fulfilled and healthy lives. Extraordinary power lives in love and how we see it will lead the way to success or otherwise. To understand love, it is not only helpful but also very interesting to recognize that there are various definitions and types of love. Here are a few that stand first in rank:
- Whichever title we choose, Intimate love / Eros / Romantic love / True love, this type of love is is a beautiful blessing from God and reserved exclusively for marriage. After all those crazy natural chemicals fire off in our brain that produce attraction and affection for that “in-love” feeling; this kind of love requires commitment, communication, faithfulness, honesty, trust, selflessness, time, respect, patience, support, and should be celebrated, cherished and enjoyed everyday. Scripture gives us an innermost look, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” – [Song of Solomon 2:16]
- The love we have for family is recognized as Familiar love / Storge / Natural love. The naturalness in a familial bond, built on strong connections between family members that provide a sense of wholeness and meaning. Important responsibilities come along with the gift of family as well; provision, nurturance (spiritually, emotionally, intellectually), respect, forgiveness… “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – [1 Corinthians 13:4-8]
- When people share the same values and respect for each other, it’s commonly referred to as Brotherly love / Philia / Friend bond, love without romantic attraction. Friendships are an important part of life. They are one of life’s necessities, grounded in trust, special-moments, precious-moments, simple-moments and comfort during trying-moments. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor…” If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” [Ecclesiastes 4:9-10}
- The greatest type of love and what we seek most is Unconditional love / Agape love. This is known as the highest form of love and is given, even when it is not returned. It is pure, completely unselfish and accepts us for who we are, regardless of our flaws or imperfections. It is God’s deep love for us, fully expressed through the complete and on going life of Jesus Christ. If we will take just one moment out of our busy schedule and place it on God (Creator of all things), the Living Word (Bible), and prayer, (conversation and communion with God), we will become aware of a magnificent and breathtaking love like no other. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
If we were to ask God, “Who do you love more?” He would tell us that it is already written. A love so great that it continues to shine and flourish through the darkest hours / simplicity of the day / and by way of tender celebrations… * The Agony in the Garden – “Jesus knelt down and prayed…” [Luke 22:39-44] * The Scourging at the Pillar 39 times – “Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” [Isaiah 53:5-10, Matthew 27:26] * The Crowning with Thorns – Kneeling before Him in derision, they spit on Him, and cry out: “Hail, King of the Jews!” [Matthew 27:28-31] * The Carrying of the Cross – “He went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified Him.” [John 19:16–18] * The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus – “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do…” [Luke 23:34]
Jesus knows the sins of all mankind, whose guilt He has taken upon Himself, for each and everyone one of us. What have we missed? It is my prayer that we will continue to listen to God’s call, observe the blessings, value the love, embrace His goodness and experience His love in its many forms and share that love with others, as God intended. You are important… ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” [Matt. 22:37–39].
A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.
Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen
Sweet blessings always,