Choosing God’s Idea of Love and Devotion - Wholly Loved - December 1

Published: Dec 01, 2023

Choosing God’s Idea of Love and Devotion

By Dawn Tolbert

“Be devoted to one another in love.” Romans 12:10a

Sometimes the most romantic proclamations of love fall flat.

As a teen, I listened to the soundtrack of Grease repeatedly. Time and again, Olivia Newton John crooned that she was “hopelessly devoted” to her summer romance.

Today’s verse reminded me that God calls us to build relationships that are different from the song’s hopeless love. In Romans 12:10, Paul, the author, called Roman Christians to be devoted to one another. The word translated “devoted” refers to the special kind of affection that exists between a parent and child.

We’re to nurture family-like relationships with those who share our faith. Paul encouraged the Roman church—and ours—to “honor one another above yourselves.” This concept of honoring often goes against what our culture espouses where conversations often focus on individual rights and freedoms. Human nature tells us we should be more concerned about how much honor we receive and not about showing respect to others.

But God calls Christians to live differently. He wants our relationships—especially among our church family—to be rooted in love and characterized by honor and respect. Imagine what it could be like: Children would honor parents, and Moms and Dads would speak value into their kids. Spouses would build one another up. The young would respect older generations, who would return that courtesy.

Newcomers would feel welcomed and valued. Christ-followers would produce contentment and harmony, making everyone involved feel loved and bringing a God-honoring beauty to the church.

Who wouldn’t want to be part of a church like that? To live like that? How do we get there? We begin by practicing Paul’s words. Today, let’s ask God to bring this type of relationship into our lives and churches—beginning with us and our actions, by showing love and respect to others.

Dawn Tolbert is a contributor to Wholly Loved MinistriesDaily Devotional, a Christ-follower who writes to honor God, thank Him for His goodness, and encourage readers by sharing her faith journey. She works in higher education public relations and is writing her first novel and her first book-length Bible study. She has earned a B.A. in Communication Studies and English (Gardner-Webb College), a M.A. in Professional Writing (Kennesaw State University), and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership (Union University). She and her husband, Larry, live in Cedartown, Georgia, and serve actively in their church. Dawn blogs at

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Originally published Friday, 01 December 2023.