We want our lives to count for something. We want to be known as women who are making a difference, leaving a mark. I know I do. I want my life to echo love to the world. I have a feeling you do too. But that idea can easily become a cliche that sounds good, but not change my day-to-day attitudes or actions.
So what does it look like to echo love? What does that mean for my life? What does that mean for yours?
We can focus on the large-scale areas of need in our city and in our world. And when we have the opportunity or prompting, we should most certainly do our part. Adopt the orphan, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, share with those in need. The list is endless.
But too often when I think of loving others, my mind first begins to drift ‘out there’. I think beyond those closest to me, when unfortunately, those in closest proximity to me are the ones I neglect most. My quest to be known for love to the world can keep me from loving well at home. I’m not always echoing love to them. I’m echoing busyness, anger, frustration.
It can be easy to walk out of our house, put on a smile, and get a little dirty while loving someone in need for a few hours. If you’ve ever given your time or money, you know how good it feels afterward.
But it’s a whole different thing to walk back into our homes and show that same love to those sitting around the dinner table, the snarky teenager, the tantrum throwing toddler, or the one refusing to pull their weight.
- Sometimes it’s easier to show love to a stranger on the street than the husband sleeping next to us at night.
- Sometimes it’s easier to speak a kind word to someone we don’t know than encourage the child acting out.
- Sometimes it’s easier to give to someone on the other side of the world than to our neighbor next door.
These days we can manage our image on the outside making sure we look good, like we’re loving well on the outside. But is that love a true reflection of God’s love? When people get closer and closer to us, do they find we are more loving or less?
Think through some ways you can love those closest to you this week- your husband, your kids, your parents, your closest friends. If they don’t know us by our love, we should pause and re-evaluate.
- Maybe you need to turn off Netflix a little earlier tonight and converse with your spouse.
- Maybe you need to cancel an outing for some family time.
- Maybe you need to put the work away and hang out with your kids, find out what’s going on in their world.
Maybe you need to speak a word, offer forgiveness, or give some extra time. Whatever it is, let it flow out of the love you’ve received from God. A love that doesn’t always make sense. A love that hopes and believes the best. A love that is willing to sacrifice even if you get nothing in return. When we love like that and we love those closest to us, we will naturally echo love to the world.
Last weekend, Pastor Filipe shared a powerful message on how we can be known by our love. If you missed it or would like to listen again, check it out here.