Wha-a-a-a-at is Love?

Christians often look to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as an accurate description of love.

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I remember years ago talking to God one day, concerned that I wasn’t a very loving mom. I couldn’t even master the first part of the great love chapter. God reminded me that though I fell short in many of these areas, I excelled in others. I was relieved to realize I really did love my children. Though at the moment that idea brought a needed encouragement to me, I also knew I had to grow in the areas where I was weak. But how?

I tried so hard to be patient and kind. I often excelled at being so. But catch me in a moment of weariness or being on the brink of overload (often as I prepared supper), and pow! Love made a quick exit. I needed some divine insight here.

I’d like to propose a different approach to this passage than breaking it down piece by piece to evaluate our performance. Since 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love,” should we not read 1 Corinthians 13 primarily as a description of God? Read this passage again and wherever you see the word “love” insert the word “God”.

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Love begins with God. Outside of God we will fail sooner or later. If you want to experience true love and exude pure love, you must first get to know the God who IS Love.

Let me offer some practical suggestions.

♥Use online resources to study names and characteristics of God, especially in areas where you fall short.

♥Read the book of John one passage at a time and ask, “What do I see about God’s love?” Log your findings in a journal.

♥Memorize Psalm 139.

♥Keep an ongoing log of times you notice God’s love. Review it frequently.

We can’t love our children from a vacuum. Even at our best we can’t begin to love as God does. Until our hearts are saturated with God’s love, we have only weak and disabled love to share. We need to quit putting so much pressure on ourselves as moms to meet self-imposed love standards and start allowing the God who is Love to fill us, change us, and overflow us.

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copyright February 2016 by Cheri Johnson

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