Posts Tagged ‘Love’

A parent’s love is unlike any other. We may feel physical attraction to someone else or may even be romantically in love with someone, but the love a parent feels for their child begins before they’re even born and doesn’t leave until the parents breathe their last breath.


That’s why Isaiah asks the question, “Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you” Isaiah 49:15 (TLB).


God, our Heavenly Father, expresses His love for us both in terms of the father’s love and a mother’s love. Generally, a mother has a much closer attachment to their child because, well, God wired them to feel that way. They carried that baby inside the womb for nine months before they were even born. Even adoptive mothers feel this same motherly love for their children. Fathers also feel love for their children, but perhaps in a different way.


Love your children in the same way God, our Father, loves you- unconditionally!

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Jesus asked the question, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3 (NKJV). When we read those words, we often think it applies to our relationship with other people, outside our home – our neighbor. But doesn’t it apply to those closest to us? Why is it that we seem to notice the faults and shortcomings of our spouse, our parents, our children, before we recognize, and accept, that we have just as many faults, if not more?


What does mercy look like in the family? Mercy is being tolerant, knowing that we all have different strengths and weaknesses, experience and knowledge. Mercy is forgiving the other members of the family knowing we also need their forgiveness. Mercy means being patiently kind to those closest to us because “charity begins at home.”


Look for the good in others, forgive them for their shortcomings, love them in spite of their faults. Make the words of Jude the mission statement for your family, “May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. Jude 1:2 (NRSV)

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When we think of what the bible says about love, at least two passages come to mind: John 3:16, which speaks of the love of God toward humankind. 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of the ideal love, that which is shown in God’s attitude toward us. It tells us what love is not: love is not jealous, boastful, or proud. It is not rude, selfish, or quick-tempered. Love does not keep record of wrongs.


But it also tells us what love is: love is kind and patient, it rejoices in the truth, and it is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.


While our love is not as perfect as that of our perfect God, His love is a great example for us to emulate. As we experience His love, and use it as an example, others experience both our love and God’s love for them.  We become receptors and conduits of His love.


Just think for a moment what our family relationship would be like if we follow a very simple principle: “Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NKJV)

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There are several words in the New Testament which are translated as love. There’s Agape, that unconditional, self-sacrificing love which God has for us and which He desires for us to have toward one another. There’s also Phileo, “brotherly-love.” And then there’s Eros, or sexual love.


Eros love is the physical intimacy between a husband and his wife. It is the expression of romantic love between spouses. Sex, within the bounds of marriage is special, it brings the spouses together in a one-flesh relationship unlike any other in the world.


Solomon wrote, “Life is short, and you love your wife, so enjoy being with her. This is what you are supposed to do as you struggle through life on this earth” Ecclesiastes 9:9 (CEV)


Eros love is part of God’s design, a gift of His goodness not just for procreation but also for mutual enjoyment. Sex as God intended it is a source of delight and a beautiful blessing to be shared within the sanctity of marriage.


Enjoy God’s gift of Eros love with one your spouse.

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I grew up at a time when television was in black and white. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that it was shades of black and gray. Since that’s what we saw, it never occurred to me that the shows were actually in color – that’s how innocent we are as children.


I remember the first time I watched tv in full color. Wow! That was fantastic! I got to watch some of the same shows I had previously watched in black and white and I was fascinated. The ability to distinguish colors is priceless. I hear about people who are color-blind and it’s hard for me to imagine what it must be like.


Often, we choose the clothes and the gifts we will give to the people we love because of the colors of those objects. Bright colors for some clothes, darker colors for others. Jacob showed Joseph his love for him in a very special way, “He made him a robe of many colors” Genesis 37:3 (ESV).

You can show your love to your family through the gift of color. Love is not just shades of gray…love is in full color.

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Taking a child into your life, one who was your flesh and blood but rather one God chose for you, is one of the most loving actions from a parent to that child.


My supervisor told me once that he sat with his young daughter and told her “If there were a hundred kids lined up by a wall for me to choose from, and you were one of them, I would still choose you.” Adopted children, like biological children, need to be assured daily of their parents’ love.


God set the pattern and taught about this loving relationship.  Paul wrote, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” Ephesians 1:5 (NLT2)


I like the fact that adoption was not a sudden decision or an afterthought in God’s part, like it isn’t for today’s adoptive parents.


What a blessing it is for adoptive parents to remember that God also adopted you and loved you with an everlasting love!

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A story is told of a newborn baby that was abandoned in the cold of winter. The mail carrier saw a bundle near a house. He thought he heard the faint sound, perhaps an animal. Carefully he unwrapped the bundle to discover a baby, nearly frozen to death.

Immediately he called 911 and held the baby as close to him to begin to warm him up until the police and ambulance arrived. They took the baby to the hospital, and miraculously, the baby survived.

It is hard for us to understand who would abandon a newborn baby at any time of the year. In many states, all they have to do is take him to a police station or a fire station, no questions asked!

There is one thing we can count on: “The LORD will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the LORD to make you his very own people” 1 Samuel 12:22 (NLT2).

God will never abandon us. He loves us…we are His own! (more…)

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Small ways to show your spouse some love – 2

Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: Proverbs 31:28 (NKJV)


Ann Malmberg[i] suggests ten small ways to tell your spouse you love them.

  1. When you know they have a big day ahead, like a job interview or a big project at work, get up early so you can surprise them with their favorite breakfast; it can help them get a jump start their day. You could also make sure their clothes are ready, clean, iron, folded, and ready to wear (maybe even clean and polish their shoes).
  2. Praise them in front of others. When you tell your spouse how much you appreciate them or what you like about them, you are validating them. Validation means to give them the proper value.  You can do this daily, and often, but it is even more encouraging when you do it in front of others.  It lets others, and your spouse, know how proud you are of him/her, and how much you love them.
  3. Whether you are going to the store or the refrigerator, ask if you can get them anything. When you do so, you are not only being courteous but also unselfish and very thoughtful.
  4. Ask about the details of their day…and listen to their reply! Whether we had a good or a bad day, sometimes we’d like to, or need to, tell someone who cares. But sometimes we need to be encouraged to share.  When you ask, you show interest in their life.
  5. Wink/smile at each other from across the room at a social gathering. It is a very romantic way of connecting.
  6. Whether you or your partner get home first, greet them as if you haven’t seen them in weeks. Don’t take each other for granted but instead make your spouse feel that you have missed them all day. They will anticipate returning home next time.
  7. Move that special event he/she has been wanting to attend to the top of your list. Sometimes we get so busy with life that we allow every other thing at the top of the list of priorities and our spouses’ wishes at the bottom. Reverse that order, at least occasionally.


Father God, sometimes reviving our relationship only requires a few small changes; help me to be the one to begin making those changes.

[i] https://blog.prepare-enrich.com/2015/10/10-small-ways-to-show-your-partner-some-love/

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Small ways to show your spouse some love – 1

She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12 (NKJV)


We have talked about how valuable in a relationship are simple words like “I love you,” or “thank you.”  You don’t have to receive any special training or spend vast amounts of money to say those words.  In addition to telling your spouse that you love them, you should show them, which does not involve grand, sweeping gestures, surprise vacations, or an aerial banner proclaiming your love.  Ann Malmberg[i] suggests ten small ways to say, “you mean the world to me, and I’m glad you’re in my life.”

  1. Leave random notes in places you know they’ll find them, with a simple message like, “You’re my favorite person,” or “Thank you for always being able to make me laugh.” You get a few bonus points for drawing a funny little picture. You can place that note in their lunch, on a post-it note left on the steering wheel of their car, on top of their pillow (add a couple of chocolates for an even bigger effect), on the bathroom mirror.  I remember the time I surprised my wife in the morning by writing on the toilet paper, with bright red markers, “I love you,” and drew hearts of various sizes…she saved it.  (smile)
  2. Cook or order in their favorite meal after they’ve had a long or difficult day. If you know what they like to eat, and you can cook it, put your culinary skills to good use on those special days when they need some extra love and encouragement. Even if you can’t cook, ordering from their favorite restaurant, so they don’t have to cook, or so they will enjoy something they like, can be a very special treat.
  3. If they always do a chore on a certain day or specific time, beat them to it. When couples share equally on the household responsibilities, it tends to strengthen their relationship and to lessen the burden on either one. But there may be some things that one does more often than the other.  When you do the things your spouse does most often, you’re showing them that you notice what they do and want to take it off their plate this time so they can enjoy a break for a change.


Father God, help me to show my spouse how much I love them.

[i] https://blog.prepare-enrich.com/2015/10/10-small-ways-to-show-your-partner-some-love/

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)


Yesterday we shared the first part of the three-minute exercise that Leslie Becker-Phelps[i], who writes for WebMD, says will help us have a closer relationship with our spouse.  Today we continue with the rest of this short, simple, but valuable tool:

  • When the timer sounds, close your eyes and sit quietly for a moment. And again, briefly share thoughts with each other.
  • Close your eyes again. This time, you don’t need to use a timer (though you can if you want).
  • Imagine one thing you said you love, and be aware of the loving feeling you experience. Then allow the image to drop away so that you are left solely with the loving feeling. (As you move through your day and notice things you truly appreciate, you might choose to reconnect with the deep sense of love.) When you are done, open your eyes.
  • Briefly bring back to mind the things they’ve said they love. These offer a window into who they are deep inside. With this awareness, take a moment to feel loving toward the person across from you.

As Becker-Phelps explains about this exercise, “It can feel uncomfortable to consciously go there because love opens people to feeling vulnerable. But consider this: The exercise offers a way for you to get to know yourself and someone else in an emotionally connected and deeply satisfying way.”

From someone whose love for her husband was strong come these words, “Without mutual forbearance and love no earthly power can hold you and your husband in the bonds of Christian unity. Your companionship in the marriage relation should be close and tender, holy and elevated, breathing a spiritual power into your lives, that you may be everything to each other that God’s word requires. When you reach the condition that the Lord desires you to reach, you will find heaven below and God in your life.”[ii]

Father, may our marriage be the heaven below you desire for us.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/10/get-closer-with-this-simple-exercise.html?ecd=wnl_sxr_101015&ctr=wnl-sxr-101015_nsl-promo-3_title&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

[ii] White, E.G.  The Adventist Home, p.112

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