John 15:13 NIV Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Ephesians 5:2 NIV And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
I find it interesting that children often have a profound understanding of love.
Researchers asked a group of 4-to-8-year-olds: “What does love mean?”
- “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” -Rebecca, age 8
- “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.” -Billy, age 4
- “Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.” -Chrissy, age 6
- “Love is when someone hurts you. And you get so mad but you don’t yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings.” -Samantha, age 7
- “Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” -Terri, age 4
- “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.” -Danny, age 7
- “Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.” -Emily, age 8
- “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.” -Bobby, age 5
- I particularly appreciate Bobby’s answer. As a kid, I always focused on receiving presents and not on relationships. Instead of focusing on love, I grew up as a materialistic child who thought too much about sports, toys, and video games and not enough about love.
Are we raising wise children and grandchildren who value love over presents and selfishness? The consistent message of Scripture is to think about God and others before we think about ourselves. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, fed the hungry crowd, healed the sick, patiently trained his followers, endured betrayal, faced unjust trials, and died a brutal death.
We are to imitate the love shown to us by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Take a moment to consider the following questions. How can we show the people who are around us love? How do we love our family, friends, neighbors, and enemies? How do we raise a godly generation that seeks to care for the orphan, the poor, and the widow?
Micah 6:8 (NIV) He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Prayer: Lord, please teach us how to become more like your Son and to sacrificially love others. May your Spirit guide us into all truth and empower us to be humble, loving, and merciful. Help us raise up a godly and selfless generation. Amen.