Such a big questions to answer. Isn’t it? How do we love? This arose in my heart one day when I wondered whether I had enough love to offer someone else, especially thinking long-term. I had and still have this unspoken fear that my love for my future wife will somewhat fade away and I can do little to rekindle it.
But listening to “Eight Twenty Eight” by Ian and Larissa Murphy, Larissa says something that hit me hard, “We should never trust our own capacity to love others”.
We should never trust our own capacity to love others.
This is what I was doing. I was trusting in my own ability to love. But what I did not realise is that the well of our hearts can very easily run dry. Love offered from a dry well can easily hurt instead of building up. Sin always finds a way of crawling into even our best of intentions. We desire to do good, to love, but we offer something faulty. But God can restore this brokenness.
Christ’s Love Compels Us to Love Others
God enables us to love others. God is love and love cannot be defined outside God’s work in Jesus Christ. God so loved us that he gave his own Son to save us from our sin and death. Knowing and believing this sets us free from the temptation to be validated by others. We know that we have all we need in Christ. He gave his all to us and we can give our all to him, for he loves us with an everlasting love. We can love others without fear or restraint because we know we do not need reciprocating love to validate us.
Christ’s Love Teaches Us How to Love
We have to look to Christ and his life to see what love looks like. We do this by diving into his word, prayer and fellowship. Seeing how Christ loved the people around him, and how he commands us to love, we can learn how to love. But love is all theory and head knowledge until we have to live it out in fellowship. Fellowship exposes the cracks and flaws in our thoughts, actions and intentions. Fellowship tests whether we have learnt or are learning what it means to love. Fellowship is the unending training ground that God has granted us in order to build us up in love for one another. We need this training ground. We should not despise it.
Learning how to love will take us a lifetime. But a lifetime with God’s empowering Spirit. He will fill up the well of our hearts so that we can pour into other people’s lives. I pray that we would all learn to draw from the love God has shown us, and extend it out horizontally to others. God desires to demonstrate how his love looks like by having us love one another.