Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the woman who said to her husband, “Honey, do you really love me?” He looked at her somewhat strangely and replied, “Why would you ask me that? When we got married thirty years ago, I told you that I loved you. If it changes, I’ll let you know.”
I hope this story doesn’t describe either you or your spouse. This man didn’t understand that you can’t just put your love on cruise control in a relationship and think it can stay the same all the time. Love must grow. Just as people grow and their lives change, we have to adapt our love to those changes, and our love has to mature and grow. I think of the way I loved my children when they were small. I’d scoop them up, tickle their little bellies, cuddle with them, and poke a little food in their mouth! But now they’re adults and my love has had to adapt and grow to fit with who they are. As they changed, I had to be willing to adapt to their changing opinions and abilities and find new ways to communicate with them in ways that will enrich our lives and our relationships. I have to learn to love well.
This is so important that the apostle Paul prayed for the Philippian church: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight” (Philippians 1:9). It wasn’t that the church was deficient in love, but Paul was saying, “Your love has so much potential to go so much further and build such a greater foundation in your lives. Agree with me every day as I pray for you that your love will reach its fullest.”
The only way we can walk in love is to first allow the love of God into our lives. If we want to love well, it is all sourced from our relationship with Jesus Christ. We love because He first loved us! We need to let that foundation of love to be built into our lives so there is a well of continuous love that can flow out of us. Our love should have wisdom. Our love should see beyond the superficial. Our love should be smart and thoughtful. Love doesn’t wait for things to happen. Love builds relationships. Love serves, and it doesn’t just give what it wants to give. Love is willing to give what is needed. Love is sacrificial.
How you show your love has a dramatic impact on your life. I hope you’ll join me and pray this prayer every day: “God, may Your love abound in me more and more in depth and insight and knowledge and wisdom.”
God bless you!