This week’s Spiritual Prescription is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and colleague, Kevin Traughber. His life provided us with a great example of loving well in his work as a Chaplain at Western Baptist Hospital. To Kevin’s wife, daughters and extended family we offer our heartfelt sympathy. His sudden departure from this life leaves a heart-shaped hole that only the Father’s love can fill.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Cor 13: 4-7
Paul describes what it means to love well. It is the “how” that stumps us.
The Bible says God is love (1 John 4:16), and since we are made in His image, we have a longing to love and be loved. It is what we were created to do. But in my natural state, I am prone to love with strings hanging off the edges. I am inclined to love based on being loved back, getting what I want, when I’m the important one, when all my cravings are fed.
Loving well means loving when we are not loved back
Loving well spills over our limitations and makes up for our short comings
Loving well is a fearless love – it has courage and strength
Loving well means loving those who do you harm
Loving well is loving others as you love yourself
It takes up for those who have no voice
It is sacrificial
It is deep
It is real
My husband likes to tell the story of how we met, but with a twist that I remember a little differently. Basically, he says I stalked him! I’m not quite sure but it may have been the other way around. What I do remember very clearly is the first time he called me by a pet name. He called me Love. In one word, he communicated his full attention, devotion, and protection. It is a picture of how Christ calls out to us.
To love as Christ loves requires Him to be personally present in our lives. We must allow him to take up residence. This kind of loving becomes more beautiful as we place ourselves under the influence of God’s workmanship. Read His word, soak it in, and let Him teach you a love language that speaks into the lives of people around you.
Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to love well. Let love take up residence in my heart and give it the run of my household. May your fully formed love reshape and revive me as you continue to transform me into the image of Love’s Pure Light.