No one tests my patience more than my sweet little two-year-old daughter, Ava. Like most two-year-olds, “no” is her favorite response, and only she can make me lose my cool in public.
You know that saying, “there is no love like that of a mother”? This love sees past all their child’s faults and wants to see them excel and mature in the best way possible.
It is a real thing mothers are given. It’s a huge responsibility to choose to love and care for them, despite sleep deprivation, hunger, and a screaming or whining child.
But what if we changed that saying “there is no love like that of a mother,” to “there’s no love like that of a believer”?
You see, I love my little Ava, and although I get to teach her to be a loving little human being, God really has used her to teach me how to love others unconditionally.
Although she is my daughter, Ava is not made exactly like me, nor does she process things the same as I do. Even though she is only two, her little personality and sense of style is already there. While most of the time, she’s calm, cool, and collected, and listens just perfectly, sometimes she screams and has whiny fits, shouting “NO” with flailing arms and kicking legs. She is usually patient and sweet, but whens she’s hungry and tired, she is quite the opposite.
I can truly relate to my sweet two-year-old.
Like the rest of us, she is a person born into sin nature trying to learn and figure out this gift of life we have been given. Just like us all, she needs a lot of guidance and grace, but most importantly, she needs unconditional love.
“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
According to this verse, deep love is most important of all, yet I have found that I unknowingly tend to put conditions on the love I have for certain people. It’s easy to love people who I get along with or who do nice things for me. But what about that person you try to “love,” but inwardly they get under your skin? Sure you can act kind and try to choose love, and that may work for a while, but sometimes when the conditions are not “just right,” things blow up in your face and all that love goes out the window.
Is it possible to truly love people unconditionally at all times as God does?
My experience with this is a loud YES, but it required me to take the spotlight off the other person and place it on myself.
In my 27 years of life, I have had some dealings with people who were hard for me to love, some very close to me. Yet, the Lord showed me that He wasn’t trying to use me to change or even humanly love them, but instead He was giving me opportunities to grow more into His image – one of perfect love.
This brought me to place of relying on God’s well of love that never runs dry nor does it place conditions on love. Some of the hardest times for me to love a person were the times I grew the most in unconditional love. Or you could say more into the image of God Himself, because He is Love.
“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. “ 1 John 4:12
As I persistently prayed to unconditionally love others, there was an evident heart change inside that allowed me to view people differently and truly love them unconditionally.
This was His plan all along. God is doing whatever it takes to show us and to make us into His image of LOVE in order to display His glory. However, too often we rely on our own strength and fail, when really He’s waiting to pour love out on us and through us as we draw closer to Him.
I can rest assured that if my heart is willing to change and is in pursuit of God’s deep love and affection for others, then choosing to love my neighbor will come more naturally.
I don’t know about you, but this drives me to pursue God even more and draw every drip of love I can from His well.
The love of God is what draws us to Him. We can trust His love – perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
“And may the Lord make your love for one another grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12