Archive for June 2010

All You Need is Love

Part 2: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2


One important lesson of love is illustrated by Christ’s story of the Good Samaritan. Here, a man from an ethnic group often despised by the Jews, is the only one in the story to exhibit agape. He alone stops to help an injured man who, as implied by the story, is Jewish. Yet, the Samaritan gives of his time, his effort, his possessions, and his money to help this Jewish man who is ethnically and religiously different. He demonstrates agape, unlike the “religious” people who simply passed by, offering no aid to the injured man.


You see, agape, rightly understood and applied, is revolutionary. It is never self-centered, but is self-sacrificing. It always desires what is best for the other person and works to make that best a reality. It is patient, kind, and keeps no record of past wrongs.  Agape is not so much about how we feel but about what we do. It is a love that is to be extended not only to our friends but to our enemies, to the unlovely as well as the lovely, to the worthy and the unworthy. Agape always protects the beloved and always perseveres, even when love is not returned. Agape is unfailing and unending. It is best illustrated in the life of Christ who died for us.


In a world often fractured by physical violence and verbal attacks, divisive hate and destructive behavior, we, as Christians, should be a healing balm.  Do you want to change the world?? All you need is love (agape); all you need is love; all you need is love, love; love is all you need.



Published on June 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm | | 0 Comments

All You Need is Love

Part 1: “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14


It happened June 25, 1967—the first ever live television show to be broadcast globally using satellite transmissions.  400 million people in 31 countries viewed the 2 hour production that featured various artists and musicians from around the globe performing live. The broadcast opened with the Vienna Boys Choir singing a song in 22 different languages. But the highlight of the evening was the appearance of the Beatles performing a new song for the first time for this international broadcast. The song—All You Need is Love—became an instant hit.

Understood rightly, All You Need is Love, provides an excellent theme for our lives and relationships. Now the Beatles, I would submit, had some wrong-headed notions about real love. But biblical love—agape—is the central ethic in the teachings of Christ and the New Testament.  It is a virtue that should pervade our lives.


Published on June 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm | | 0 Comments

When children fare best


Madeleine L’Engle, author of Walking on Water and other works, was once asked, “What do you think you and Hugh (her husband) have done which was best for your children?” She responded immediately, “We love each other.”

In God’s divine order, other than our relationship with Him, no relationship is of greater importance than the one we have with our spouse. My children will fare best--educationally, socially, emotionally, financially--when I love their mother and my wife more than I love them.

As a lawyer who once did family court work-- dealing with divorces, custody disputes, visitation issues, and other family crises--I often heard one spouse say, in effect, “I love my children and want what is best for them, but I cannot stand my husband (or wife).” Such a statement reveals a fundamental misunderstanding about family dynamics and child-rearing.  If we truly, sincerely love our children and want what is best for them, we will intentionally, desperately, and resolutely love our spouse, the other parent.

On the other hand, if we dislike, despise, or hate our spouse, we communicate a harmful message to our children, often unintentionally. For you see, if what produced our children is unlovable or unworthy, then we imply that our children’s own lovability and worthiness is in question.  In other words, if I view the mother of my child as a “bitch”--a term I have heard on more than one occasion when spouses are at odds with one another--then my child is a “son of a bitch” or a “daughter of a bitch.”

I know.  That’s not what people usually intend to communicate to their children. But our children get it. They know instinctively what we should know by thinking clearly--a father who truly loves his children will also love their mother. A father who despises their mother can say all he wants about loving his children and wanting what is best for them. But our children know the truth. They get it. So should we.    


Published on June 7, 2010 at 11:23 am | | 0 Comments