Love Gives

Ideas about love and how it is seen or expressed or experienced are everywhere. The ways we understand it are strongly shaped by our surroundings and the family dynamics in our lives.

The way we experienced love in our childhood will affect the way we understand love as an adult—both by what we did receive and by what was missing or lacking. It’s a part of us and strongly shapes our own ways of loving others and perceiving love from others.

I’ve been trying to focus on the ways love behaves over the last few weeks. We explored the strength of love and how Love Does Hard Things. The importance of being genuinely attentive was brought to the forefront in that Love Listens. We wrestled with the challenging biblical reality that Love Submits to one another.

But there is another recognizable mark of genuine love that we must consider. The simple truth is that love gives.

Consider this urging from the Apostle Paul as he was trying to equip us for genuine christian living:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5.1-2

When the instruction to “walk in love” is given, the immediate example of Jesus is shown. But notice how it is expressed—that Jesus “loved us and gave himself up for us.”

I have come to understand that the very nature of loving someone in sincerity and maturity is to do what is best for the one we love. It isn’t necessarily to do what they want, but to do what they really need.

For example, though I love my grand babies so much, giving them ice cream for breakfast is not an option—even though they might want that very much. It’s not an option because it is not what is best for them. So in that sense it would betray the love I have for them.

In our most familiar, most famous passage from the Scriptures, John 3.16, we see the ultimate action of love and the genuine motivation for that action:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3.16

God gave His only Son, Jesus, to sacrifice His life for us. In doing so, He was giving us eternal life. But why? Because “God so loved the world.” And all we must do is believe it.

Love gives.

Whatever is needed that we have any power to give, IF we love someone, we should give.

Love gives.

Love gives time and attention and genuine presence.

Love gives sacrificially and selflessly and sincerely.

Love gives up our own way.

Love gives up the right to hold a grudge or keep a record of wrongs.

Love just gives.

I know that, for those who have been deeply wounded by someone that was supposed to love them, this is a really hard thing to swallow. I know that the scars of so-called love that took from instead of giving to are deep and some will never be healed in this life.

But the thing we have to come to grips with is that God’s love is perfect. And He loves so completely that He provides the only thing He requires of us. If you will open your heart to His perfect love, He will meet you there with the faith to trust Him. It may take a long time. He’s in for the long haul. Whether it’s a day or a thousand years, He’ll prove it to you.

Love gives.

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