I’m not just talking about romantic love, just love. Love is more than an ooey gooy feeling you have for someone, it is a choice. Love says, “No matter what you do, I still love you.” One of my concerns for this country is that my younger generation is loosing sight of what love really means. One reason America’s divorce rates are so high is because we think love is just a feeling. Now don’t get me wrong, love can also be a feeling (aka endorphins), but it is not founded on emotions.
Many friendships fail because someone did something “unforgivable” that either offended or angered the other person out of the relationship. When you love someone you allow them to make mistakes. The Bible says God is love, but many people think of God as “The God Father” rather than “God The Father.” God isn’t angry and always out to get us whenever we do something wrong, but He does convict us when we start doing things that are potentially harmful to ourselves or others.
Christians are supposed to be some of the most loving people on the planet, but sadly because many of them don’t practice what they preach, they end up being more judgmental than anything else. One of my favorite preachers Bill Johnson once stated, “Grace doesn’t overlook sin, it empowers righteousness.” Just because you disagree with someone who is living in sin doesn’t give you the authority to judge them, that’s Gods job. As Christians, we judge each other by our fruit, but we love the world into repentance.
Love is what causes genuine change. If your teenage daughter were to have sex and get pregnant, kicking her out of the house should always be your last resort. Being there for her and helping her get through it while setting stricter rules for who she goes out with usually is enough to get her back on the right path. If that doesn’t work, get your extended family involved so that way she can see that her destructive behaviors are destroying the family.
This will hopefully help her to realize that she is hurting the people she loves, and she’ll start making better decisions. If her destructive behavior continues even after all that, then she needs to be kicked out of the house permanently for her continued rebellion [Matt 18:15-17].
If you don’t know how to have long lasting friendships, you certainly won’t have a long lasting relationship either. Just as I stated in the example above, Divorce or permanently ending a friendship should always be a last resort. Don’t assume someone doesn’t want to talk to you anymore, take the initiative to restore that friendship. I am not a perfect person myself, and I speak everything I do from the mistakes I’ve made in the past. True love always perseveres. Love doesn’t put up with someones crap, but it guides them into repentance with positive affirmations.
If you’re ready for love, you will know by the depth of your relationships. No one is ever going to have perfect love (except Jesus but that’s obvious), but when we live out 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 verses 4-8 along with the daily renewing of our minds, we begin to step into Gods love. Those that truly know God know love, and when you’re connected to the source of love up there, you’re ready to love down here.
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