Giving and receiving love seemed so easy when we were children. We played with neighborhood kids and school friends when our parents brought us together and most of the time we got along. There were minor scuffles over a toy or hurt feelings when someone said something we considered to be “mean”, but the majority of the time we experienced a mutual love.
As a parent of two sons, I fostered this easy love when my sons were young too. Play dates with the neighborhood kids or friends from school were part of the growing up routine. The feeling each time is that my sons were just thrilled to have someone to play with and friendships grew.
I learned from my own childhood, as well as watching my sons grow up, that all you need is love.
A hug, just because…
A kiss when my sons got a “boo boo”…
A bandaid to cover the imaginary cut…
Saying “I love you” often without expecting anything in return…
And providing a safe place and taking care of daily needs…
All created an easy love that reflected genuine caring.
Jesus taught love and modeled this unconditional love over and over. He loved the hurt, the marginalized, the outcasts and everyone who entered His story while He was alive. He loves all His children today. His example is a blue print for how we can love. Jesus loves with no strings attached and proved that all you need is love.
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But childhood is one small piece of the whole story. We grow into adults and our beliefs about love and acceptance change as life experiences mold us along the way. Now we form opinions, take sides, and many daily experiences take us farther away from love rather than closer. We let persecution, suffering or perceived opinions pull us away from loving relationships. We let being an adult take us away from the easy love we knew as a child. We forget that nothing will ever separate us from the love of Christ.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35-37
We are loved without any expectations in return. When misfortunes assail us, we are loved. When struggles seem bigger than any joy, we still have God on our side interceding for us. When defeat seems imminent, God will always advocate for us. God’s love is bigger than all the misfortunes, struggles and defeat the world throws our way. As a child of God, He is always in our corner ready with His redemptive grace.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32
Our God is a God of love. He is for us when the world is against us. God gave up His son, Jesus, so we may know redemptive love. In our world of contradictions, we are loved so well.
Knowing all we need is love, how will you embrace and share it today?
Blessings of grace along the way,
Linking with the lovely Lisha @ Give Me Grace
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I think our posts are linked this week. We’really talking about love. That enormous, all onclusive, redemptive Jesus love. Oh that we’d all remember love. Many blessings for a great week Mary!
Yes we are! The bottom line is as we are journeying through all the seasons of our lives, we are loved through every bit of it by God. The connection we both have is God even if our stories have taken us along different paths. I pray today and everyday that we remember love in every challenge, uncertainty and obstacle that we face along the way. Blessings to you too as you step through this beautiful week we have been given.
Accepting that we are loved unconditionally can be a struggle in our society that often tells to love only if the packaging is right. Someone once taught me to ‘love people where they at.’ I struggle with my judgments and hurts–why should I love them if they are arrogant, rude, inconsiderate…etc… Yet we are called to show Jesus’ love regardless of the ‘packaging.’ Thanks for this today as a reminder for me to love.
I have also seen how society teaches us to love and if we look closely, we learn that it is not pretty. It many times goes against the kind of love that Jesus taught when He was here. Thank you for sharing what you learned about love-“love people where they are at”. It’s exactly what God would want but I am imperfect and I know how hard it can be. May we all let God lead us in grace and love with all people. Thank you for your insight. Blessings!
It’s a comfort to know God’s love is bigger than anything thrown our way. Even if that concept of love was all mixed up and tainted in some of us as we grew up, God is still bigger and can redeem any situation. Thank you, Mary. Blessings and hugs to you!
I am learning that childhood love looked very different for each of us. But the stories of God’s redemptive love shows us the power of the love of God. Thank you for reminding us all that God is bigger and loves to make us whole through redemption. Blessings and hugs to you too.
Hi Mary! I heard a wonderful commentary on love this weekend at church. The speaker said that we are all a furnace of God’s love. Our sins and failings are like mud covering the glass around the furnace. Pretty soon, you can’t see the flames at all.
I think we are all called to keep that furnace shield clean, so our love, the love of God in us, is able to shine and warm everyone. Isn’t that lovely? Then, we will not be separated from the love of God, and we will be able to share it with everyone who will see us, and recognize that light.
That sounds like it was a powerful commentary, Ceil! I have never thought of love in this way, but it makes sense that our love is clouded by our sins and failings. A furnace is the perfect picture of what that can look like. I pray we all may keep our furnace shields clean to shine and share our love with others. Tuesday blessings and love your insight!
Mary, you spoke thoughts here that have been in my heart for the past several months. I am drawn to those one-on-one relationships we encounter everyday. The people with whom God allows our lives to intersect – those are our calling. Sharing His love – just like those innocent childhood friendships you mentioned. That’s what God calls us to do. Thank you, sweet friend!
I agree on those in real life one one one connections. That is what feeds my soul. Spending time with a friend like that especially when you invite God into the middle speaks of love. Thank you for blessing me by being here and joining in the conversation.
There’s no better way to wrap up the weekend than to focus on the greatest of these … love. Thanks, friend. I hope this has been a restful one for you …
Thank you for joining me to wrap up the weekend. I love that you were part of this reminder of God’s love through the comments. Always a pleasure to have you join in the conversation.
It’s so important to keep that truth in our hearts and minds, Mary. We are loved by the God of the Universe and the King of kings. Just amazing! Thanks for this word that encourages us all.
We are loved more powerfully by God than we will ever be by another person. It is amazing to know this kind of love. How wonderful is it that we share in knowing the redeeming love of God? Praying your week has begun well!
As a child, my idea of love was shaped more by rejection and abuse than unconditional, loving acceptance. So when I came to faith in Jesus as a teenager, it was a mind-blowing experience to even think that someone could love me in such a complete way. The love of God drew me like a bee to a honeypot. Once its sweetness was tasted, I craved and received more. Thankfully, there is no limit to His amazing love.
Human love has its drawbacks and limitations but I am grateful to have been given good experiences as an adult which help me appreciate ways in which God loves me through others. Yes, all you need is love – mostly of the divine kind. It heals and restores what has been broken and spoilt and makes our human experiences richer. Thank you, Mary. This is a beautiful reminder! <3
What I love hearing you say is the journey that you have traveled since childhood has brought you into knowing the beautiful love of God. That is His redeeming love. There is truth and grace in the love that God promises and gives to each of us. You have experienced it differently than me, but we both know that God’s love is all powerful and consuming. Thank you for sharing vulnerably on this page and without hesitation. Your voice in this conversation always makes a difference. Blessings and hugs!
Redemptive love, that’s the key, Mary! So many view God’s love as a passive, namby-pamby love, when it is a powerful, terrible love that wars against the sin in our lives. He accepts us as we are, but His great love means He won’t allow us to stay that way. Inspiring post, my friend.
Yes-redemptive love! It is the kind of love that can only come from God. It’s not the love we hear about in songs or see in movies-it is so much more. God will always love us and take us back even when mistakes happen along the way. I am blessed that He will always redeem me with His love. How wonderful that we know God’s love that is more than we can even put into words? Thank you for your insight!
I am quite sick today and am unable to go to church. I appreciated reading this beautiful reminder this morning. As I did the sun broke through the cloudy sky…thanks for letting God speak to me through you this morning!!
Love and blessings to you sweet friend,
My heart hurts for you that you still are not feeling well. I know you have been struggling lately. Thank you for letting me know how I can pray for you and more importantly for how the words on this page spoke to you. God is so good to always provide what we need. Sending you love and lifting up prayers for healing.
Mary, I love this! You are right. Love is what is needed in our world, the kind of unconditional love that Jesus gives us. I want to show that love to others even if I can’t love as well as Jesus did. I can point others to His neverending love that is not based on who we are or what we do. What a great and understanding God we have! Blessings to you, Mary!
In a world that seems to promote everything but love somedays, I wanted to point us back to Jesus and the unconditional love He has for all of us. Trying to show that love to others everyday is a work in progress for me, but one that is important. I am rejoicing with you that we have an understanding God who is patient and full of grace as we learn some of these same lessons over and over. Blessings to you Gayl as we begin a new week.