It’s easy. At least that is what John Lennon wrote and the Beatles sang in 1967 – “All you need is love, love, love is all you need. There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known. Nothing you can see that isn’t shown. Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be. It’s easy.” John Lennon said the lyrics were deliberately simplistic to capture the utopian ideals of the ‘Summer of Love’.
In life, it is anything but ‘easy’ to love. Yet it is love in marriage, in family, in church and in the public square that builds relationships that help one endure the valleys of life. Love is an intentional decision followed up with action. It is love as a verb that keeps all civil around disagreements, differences of opinion, religious convictions and political incorrectness. It is through love that valleys are navigable and chasms can be bridged.
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ … ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” - Matthew 22:37&39. Jesus does not refer to love as a feeling but as an intentional decision followed by action. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:34-35. Jesus led by example with love grounded in the Truth of His Father’s teaching. “… Go now and leave your life of sin.” - John 8:11. In this passage with the adulteress, Jesus exemplified love for the sinner with a call to Truth, to return to God’s script for a loving relationship. True love is grounded in Truth, and Truth is grounded in the love of the Father. Jesus lived into the tension of expressing love in Truth and conveying Truth in love. The call for us is to emulate Jesus’ example.
All You Need is Love proved to be another hit for the Beatles and the simple lyrics touched people across the globe with feelings that meshed well with the ‘Summer of Love’. A biblical twist on the lyrics might go like this – “All you need is to love others. Loving others is all you need to do.” It is not as musical but it conveys love as active, not passive. To love as Christ loves, a man must make an intentional decision to love his wife and follow it up with action. In his book The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman says the tingly feeling of love in marriage typically lasts between six weeks and two years. Then, for the sake of the marriage, men must learn how to love with love as a verb. Start loving in Truth and conveying Truth in love with your bride and children. Then practice it in your church and the public square, and watch the Lord glorify Himself.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for loving me. I confess that I did not see myself as loveable and could not conceive the love You had for me. Then You got my attention, forgave my sins and extended grace that continues to draw me closer to You. Today, I embrace Your love fully and strive to glorify You by loving others where You have me. Help me to love in Truth and convey Truth in love in the home and beyond. That’s the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father loves in Truth and conveys Truth in love in the home and beyond.