Originally published Friday, 16 January 2015.
I want my daughters to know the truth about love. I want them to know and experience the depths of joy and the pure delight that sharing hearts with another person can bring.
But what about the hard parts?
What about loving the classmate who makes unkind comments every time she walks by, the unfair teacher who never acknowledges her strengths or the boy that chooses her best friend instead of her? How am I supposed to guide her through hurt, while simultaneously telling her she has to love them too?
We can all agree that love is easy when people are kind and love you back. But Christ calls us to a different standard of love altogether. It’s not always fair, it doesn’t always have a happy ending and at times it can hurt.
That’s the truth of it.
So lately I’ve been pondering how to break this news to my tender hearted 10 year old and how to encourage her to still choose to freely give the best she has to offer.
I don’t want to scare her…but I want her to know what true love is because it’s what makes her different. It’s what makes her His.
1 John 4:7
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
So when talking to my sweet girls about love I’m starting at the beginning…with God’s word. I want each of them to understand and experience God’s love and I want them to know what He expects it to look like in their lives.
- God’s love is free but it cost Him and loving others should cost you.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God’s love is a gift that He paid for with the life of His son. Loving Him with our life is the way we say thank you. It requires sacrifice and a death to our own wants, feelings, thoughts and actions.
- God’s love is altogether different
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” Romans 5:8
God’s love is the kind of love no one deserves. Not me. Not you. Nice people, mean people. I want my daughter to understand that she doesn’t have to earn God’s love and no one should have to earn hers.
- God’s love changes people.
“For if we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we have a sound mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:13-15
When people experience the love of God, they act different! And to be honest it can look a little weird to show love and kindness to people when they have been mean or mistreating you but when you truly understand God’s love you just can’t help it.
I encourage you to talk to your girls about true love.
Start the Conversation!
Here are few questions you can ask to get the conversation going:
- Does God expect you to love people you don’t know?
- Do you think you have to love people who are mean?
- How can you show love to someone today?
Be an example of true love and challenge your daughter to love when it hurts, when they are not asked to and when they just don’t want to.