If the Beatles have taught us, it’s that all we need is love. In February, our culture has an infatuation with what I’d like to deem as commercial love. It’s the heart-shaped chocolates, the cupids, or even the Valentines passed around elementary schools, but is there something more?
Jesus commands us to love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself. This is the greatest commandment that we find in Matthew 22. The Shema tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We even have an entire chapter in 1 Corinthians telling us that love is patient and kind. But what are some practical tips on how to love?
- Be Intentional
I remember when I first started dating my wife. We had a very set schedule, knowing exactly when the both of us were off work and we could see each other. In those early days, it had completely altered my schedule. I intentionally had to make time—I wanted to make time. In order to love someone, you have to be intentional with your actions. What steps are you taking to intentionally love someone?
- Be Available
There was a season of my life in which I had a dear friend really love me well. I was in a dark place, and this friend, though knowing the right words to say or ways to prod me back, just sat with me. He was available to just be with me. Day or night, I knew that I could count on my friend at any moment.
- Be Trustworthy
When vulnerability peaks its head into any relationship, it’s because there is a level of trust with the other. To develop trust, start holding tightly to the information shared with you. Proverbs 16 tells us that a gossip separates close friends. Have you ever shared details with a friend, only to find out that they had told more people? How quick are you to share more details with that person? Start locking the vault on the news your friends share with you.
- Listen Well
I had a boss once that listened and remembered things about my life, family, and future dreams so well that I knew that he cared for me. Not only did he listen to what I had shared, but he also remembered to follow up and continually ask about those things.
- Practice Generosity
2 Corinthians 8 tells us that even in the midst of a severe trial, their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. There is something in being generous, or gracious, or giving to others that strikes humility into our hearts. In order for us to love better, we ought to tune our hearts, humbly, to becoming cheerful givers.
So in this season of commercialized love all around us, how can you demonstrate the same kind of love that Christ shared with us? I would love to know how you are going to love better in 2020! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.