How do you choose to love your family members, friends, the poor, homeless, your community, etc.? There are various types of love, but God’s love is perfect. Love is the foundation of relationships and connections. “Perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4:18. The interpretation is simple…love unconditionally. You may be faced with challenging situations that may hinder your ability to love perfectly; in those times ask God for strength to love the way He loves you. A fear-based approach towards love may result in negative impacts on your relationship. The following are approaches to express a perfect love:
Affirm Unconditional Love
Your spouse, children, and others need to know how much you love and value them without judging their behaviors. There is nothing they can do or say that would change the way you love them. When in doubt of what to say, “I’m not going anywhere, and you can’t make me not love you”.
Focus on Active Listening
When your loved one self-isolates or withdraws, the most important thing you can do is listen. To get your partner or child to talk, show genuine curiosity and ask open-ended questions. When a conversation opens up, attempt to avoid shifting the focus to your own life experiences and/or solutions. Seek to understand what they are thinking and feeling. Keep listening and express your love and support.
Make connection, not correction
Be present in their pain. Do not try to correct or use logic to help your loved one snap out of it. By focusing on a love-based connection, you can build trust and create a safe emotional space to help them talk about their issues. Invite God into the healing process by praying for your loved one daily. He loves His children more than you do and He knows how to reach them.
God’s demonstration of His perfect love was clearly written in the Bible. Examples includes His love to the Samaritan Woman, Mary Magdalene, the Adulterous Woman, and many more. Our Lord Jesus Christ was kind, patient, and non-judgmental. His love was unconditional and His embrace towards all humanity was evident. Challenge yourself to emulate His love by being present to those who need you.