A Love So Great

A Love So Great
John 3:16
Tamika Brown
Many of us operate under a perceived notion of love when in reality most of us are not clear what it means to love or to be love. There are plenty of people who can talk the talk but falter when it comes to walking the walk. In her book all about love bell hooks opens with this quote "but it was loves absence that let me know how much love mattered".  When we are not practicing love as a verb, when we are not being a reflection of God’s love, I think it creates this absence. Stay with me.

Unfortunately, because many of us operate in absence of love we create an image of what love looks like, then we mimic that. We learn from what we see. When we do not see love practiced, when we do not behave as God's love it creates a space for us to make up our own versions in our own definitions of what love is. [A Love So Great is not false.]

Don’t answer aloud, but how often are you told “I love you”? How often do you say, “I love you”? During enslavement, many mothers often did not express their love because at any moment they're children could be snatched away. Equally so in other types of relationships because their partner or sibling or friends could be taken away at a moment’s notice.
[A Love So Great is not fearful.]

Still today many of us practice and experience a detached sort of love. We are so afraid of being hurt that we hold back our love, and do not give our all. We have been inherently trained to say things like “they know I love them because I show up; because I keep food on the table, because I keep a roof over their head”. I would challenge this type of love as dangerous and not a reflection of God’s love because it keeps the recipient wondering. Is this love, or is this obligation? Imagine for just a moment if you had to wonder about God’s love for you, if you were uncertain of your place with God? [A Love So Great does not withhold.]

Interestingly, as Christians we often practice God's love and being a reflection of God's love to strangers. We have somehow separated out our personal selves and our personal lives.  We do not learn how to practice God’s love in our homes, in our families, with our friends, instead we are guarded. It is great that we love our neighbors as ourselves but what about our family? What about our life partners, our spouses, our children?  [A Love So Great is not selective.]

My son inundates me with love verbally and with all the hugs a person could ever want or need! At times, I get annoyed because I'm like “aaaaahhh, I don't need any more hugs, I just want to go to the bathroom in peace!!” But more than that, I am hopeful that he is able to go through life and show/receive love freely. Now, I know that it is important that we are mindful and use wisdom of course, but when you operate from the perspective of “I'm going to hold back” or “I'm going to do just enough” because I don't want to get hurt; that mindset is not a reflection of God's love. God's love is about accepting all of our faults and all of our mistakes and all of the annoying things we do.

A Love So Great is about more than a feeling, this love is meant to be an action. As Christians, we should BE love. To love as God loves, to love as a reflection of God's love, means to forgive ourselves and others, to be honest, to listen without judgment, to be present, to accept one another – flaws and all.

Prayer: Most kind, loving and gracious God, thank you. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity each day to practice love as you have designed and practiced it. Help us to love with boldness and faith. Help us God to move past the judgement and distraction of what “they say”. Help us to grow in and be the love that is a reflection of you. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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1 Comment

Lisa - April 4th, 2022 at 7:11am