Monday, September 17, 2012

Learning to Love, Part 1

A restaurant in Central Asia--May my love be large and expansive like this beautiful place!

In his book on marriage, What Did You Expect?, author Paul David Tripp shares some of the best wisdom Jim and I have read regarding getting along with people in any relationship. Period. With a family of 15 (soon to be 19 as we add four siblings through adoption), Jim and I are keenly aware of our need to live well with others!

In fact, we've taken Tripp's definition of love as our family's. He boils down so much Scripture into one powerful (and sometimes powerfully convicting!) sentence.

In the next few posts, I'm going to share Tripp's break down of each of the components of his definition. I need the reminder. If you do too, may you be blessed!
"Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the other person being loved is deserving."
Paul Tripp, Crossway, pg. 188 (hardback)
Tripp says:
"Love is willing. Jesus said, 'No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.' (John 10:18 ESV). The decisions, words, and actions of love always grow in the soil of a willing heart. You cannot force a person to love. If you are forcing someone to love, by the very nature of the act you are demonstrating that this person doesn't in fact love." (pg. 188) 
What if my heart is, when I'm really honest, unwilling? As many commandments as there are to love in the Bible (Please, if you're not familiar with them, get out your Bible and go on a hunt!), it's time to fall to my knees, confess my sin, and ask God to make me willing. And then ask again, and again, and... Just like the nagging widow (Luke 18:1-8). We know this is a prayer He will answer because we are praying for His will to be done. And, what He commands, He enables!

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