Love is not something that we instinctively know and understand. Love and the ability to love others is something developed, nurtured, taught. We all learn to love because others first loved us.
When a baby is born it first stays close to his or her mother, soaking up both her physical presence and her emotional presence. As a baby grows it is showered in love. Almost all children’s first word is ‘momma’ or ‘poppa’ or some version of one of these. As the young child grows they learn what love is and how to express love. But alas, not all homes are the same, so for some ‘love’ is distorted or hard to understand or difficult to express.
At some point in life, most often in early childhood but not always, one begins to learn what God’s love looks and feels like. Through the stories we read in the Bible, through the messages we hear in church, and through how we see Christian love lived out we begin to see what pure and perfect love looks like.
This evolving relationship with God becomes personal at some point. We realize how much Jesus loved us to die on a cross for our sins and we offer our lives to Him in response. We begin to know pure and perfect love not because of anything we did or do, but because He first loved us. This love continues to grow ad develop as we deepen our understanding of and commitment to Christ. As this love consumes us it begins to spill out into our other relationships – both to those we love and to the stranger on the street. It is a good love. It is a love that must be shared. It is a love that grows as we offer it to others. It is a good love. Thanks be to God!
Scripture reference: Psalm 147: 7-11 and 20c