John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
Ladies, do you ever think Jesus is looking down at what we are doing with this look on His face? I know I do! Sometimes I wonder how He could still love me with the things I’ve done. But as this verse shows us, Jesus loves us. If you take a deeper look, it says He loves us as the Father loves Him. Wow! That’s a lot of love. The truth is, Jesus is the only one who is capable of loving us unconditionally. Even when we scream at our kids, get snippy with our husbands, or have a breakdown over the dirt someone carried through the house with their shoes on, He loves us!
When I look at this verse, I try to analyze it on a deeper level. On the surface, we all know Jesus loves us. I’m just not sure it’s something we think about on a deeper level as often as we should. The second sentence is what I feel is the most important piece of this verse. Abide in my love. Abide is defined as accept or act in accordance with (along with other meanings). If we think about it using this definition, Jesus is asking us to act in accordance with his love; meaning to act in the spirit of His love.
I think this is just one more suggestion for us as Christians to try to love like Jesus loves. How many times have you lost that last shred of patience you had with your kids and screamed at them like you have lost your mind? How many times have you gotten mad at your husband for not reading your mind? I know for me, the answer is far too many times.
Even when Jesus is doing a face-palm over our latest behavior, there are ways to get back to loving how He loves.
- Practice the pause. This is my biggest challenge. So often we want to react instantly to what someone has done or said. I know the best thing I can do is to pause, think, then respond. It’s so hard to do this, especially when we are constantly rushing through life. I’ve tried a new trick that works pretty well. When I feel that first feeling of irritation, I have created a chant. Pause. I repeat this word in my head a few times. It reminds me to calm down before I respond so I’m not speaking out of anger, causing hurt to the ones I love.
- Be empathetic. It’s such a challenge to actually put ourselves in someone else’s shoes sometimes, especially those closest to us. When I can relate to my kids and my husband, I am so much more able to love them well. When my kids are doing something they shouldn’t, I try to imagine what they may be going through and where that behavior is coming from. That automatically makes me more sensitive to what is going on in their heads and hearts. With my husband, I am more able to look at things from his side instead of assuming what I’m feeling is the only valid emotion.
- Turn to the Bible. I have a saying. When in doubt, read it out. Whenever I’m not sure how to manage what I’m going through or what someone else is going through, turning to the Good Book is the best way for me to keep my focus on Him and not the world. I like to start my day with a cup of coffee (or two, or three…this is a judgement free zone, right?!) and my Bible. This starts my day on the right path, with the Father on my mind and in my heart. I like to end my day the same way (minus the coffee of course), even if it’s just for a few minutes before I pray and end my day.
When we are in God’s Word throughout the day, it’s a constant reminder on how to live and how to love. I think that is the most important defense we have in this fallen world. Ephesians 6:11 says, Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Let’s crush Satan’s power over our lives by suiting up like a knight, covered in the scriptures, protected by His holy promises and truths. If you have some tricks on how to make the Father proud please share in the comments. I love to hear from you!