When we are children most of what we know about love comes from, and is directed to, our parents. The needs we have for security, affection, and belonging are found within the family setting. Learning about how to love usually comes from what we learn from our parents example.
I know when I was newly married I thought, that I really loved my young, handsome, husband. When I had my children, I learned about a whole new kind of love. Maternal feelings of love and protection that I really never knew existed, welled up when I held those tiny babies. Love encompasses many relationships, each one different. Love grows, matures, endures, and changes us.
We know that there are four main types of love:
Phileo which is what is usually termed "brotherly love", but is a term for friendship and affection that often requires love and respect to be reciprocated.
Storge which refers to love that is within a family.
Eros which refers to the intimate relationship between lovers, romantic love or "lust".
Agape is the love that defines how God loves us; unconditional
I remember when God first started asking me to pray for other people. I looked at it as something that I should do as a Christian; sort of a responsibility. I was young, had lot's to do, my own family to take care of. With all that I had going on, praying for the needs of others just didn't have a lot of priority. Praying for my own family's needs was all I could manage to get around to, and sometimes I didn't even get that accomplished.
God was asking me to love other people. LOVE other people. Not on a surface level, or with "lip service", but to really regard them as my own self. Put their needs up there at the top of the list. I didn't think I could do that. I had to admit to God one day, that I just really didn't LOVE other people. And with that admission, I knew that deep down inside I didn't really love God the way I should love Him, either.
Pretty hard and harsh reality. This is where God and who He is comes in. God isn't just about love, or that He loves us, it's the fact that He truly is LOVE. God IS Love, and without being inspired by Him and knowing Him we can't ever really get there. He is the author and the finisher. The Alpha and Omega. He IS Love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4. Love is patient, love is kind, [and] is not jealous; love does not brag [and] is not arrogant, 5. does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong [suffered], 6. does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8. Love never fails...
Things have been unsettled in my spirit lately. I can't really pin it down, but being in transition. Transition in that I'm on the path, but don't really know the destination. Moving forward, but with my eyes and ears open. I'm listening to the voice of the Father. The scripture about walking by faith, not by sight has been in my head recently.
Walking the path isn't always easy, I'm looking for the roadmap but it's not very clear. I've asked God to not let me make mistakes; costly mistakes that come from being unavailable to Him. "Don't let me fail You, Lord." That's been my desire. "Don't let me fail You. I'm counting on You. I can't do this by myself."
And then I heard His Voice.
"Love Never Fails."
He will never fail us.
love, in Jesus,