“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
There is no doubt that love should be an important quality in the lives of Christians. Scripture is quite clear on the importance of love.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 – repeated in Matthew 22:37)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
And of course, there is the classic love chapter . . . 1 Corinthians 13.
Scripture is definitely not silent when it comes to believers loving others. We are to love God, first and foremost. We are to love our family . . . our husbands, our parents, our siblings, our children. We are to love our enemies. We are to love our friends.
Love is not easy. Love puts you in a vulnerable spot. To love is to open your heart to hurt. Yet, Scripture never indicates that we should be hesitant to love because of this.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” – C. S. Lewis
A loving heart and attitude lends a true air of femininity to godly women. Love should be what motivates us in all we do.
So . . . how do we show love?
Love to God
- “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Scripture is clear about this. In order to know his commands, we must be intimately familiar with his word. How do we show our love to God? By reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture.
- Invest in the church. During different seasons of life, we may be more available than at others. Perhaps we can teach a Sunday school or perhaps we can share special music. We could help with coordinating an event or organizing meals for a fellow believer who is sick. Or in particularly busy seasons of life, we can pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
- Forgive! Bitterness is a sure love stopper. Forgiveness can be hard (VERY hard!) at times. But it is so important. A godly woman will show God’s love to others by forgiving. Plus, a woman with a forgiving attitude will create a loving, peaceful, joyful atmosphere for her home. (Living with the Scars, Learning to Forgive, Five Practical Steps Toward Forgiveness)
Love our Husbands
- Pray for him. I fall woefully short in this area. Despite my shortcoming, I remain convinced that prayer is powerful. I should be the strongest prayer warrior on behalf of my husband.
- Say “yes” to him. When he asks you to do something you don’t want to do, take a deep breath and say “yes.” For me, it provides an attitude check (keeps me from getting irritated and interruptions) and allows me to show my husband he is important to me.
- Surprise him with something. It could be a note in his lunch box; it could be his favorite meal or a favorite snack. It could be planning a fun little project together.
- Make time for him. Let him know he is important and that he is loved by spending time with him.
- Do something for him . . . that he may never notice. Jason recently wanted to make some lemon bars (I am so blessed with a husband who likes to bake!). Well the 9×13 pan was dirty. Before he made it into the kitchen, I set about cleaning it for him. I knew he might not realize I had done that. But as I did it, I reminded myself, “I am doing this because I love him.”
- Cover a multitude of sins . . . or irritations. It’s easy to remember what irks us about our husbands, but true love lets those little issues slide by. Love your husband by cultivating a forgiving spirit.
Love our Friends
- Pray for them. I am emphasizing this a lot . . . but then again, prayer cannot be emphasized too strongly. Be a prayer warrior on behalf of your friends. I recently got an email from a friend; she mentioned she had been feeling led to pray for me over the previous weeks. She wondered if there was a reason. I was touched and humbled. You see, during those previous weeks, I’d had a miscarriage, and my heart had been hurting. What an encouragement to know she had been praying . . . even though she didn’t know what was going on!
- Write a note. You can, of course, send an email or write on your friend’s facebook wall. But to make it extra special, put a note in the mail.
- Invest in the lives of your friends. When possible, make time to get together or to talk on the phone. You will find your heart encouraged and uplifted when you take the time to spend with someone you love.