Building Material: Love
Love is the most important building material that holds all the rest together. I have not written about these building materials in any particular order. If I had to put them in order of importance, then of course, love would be first.
What happens in a home filled with love?
There are no noisy gongs or clanging cymbals. Impatience, unkindness, envy, boasting, arrogance, rudeness, stubbornness, irritability, resentfulness, delighting in evil are not found there.
Why, you may rightly ask, did I list the negatives of 1 Corinthians 13 instead of the positives as the Bible does?
Unfortunately, I think the negatives are more easily recognized in our homes than the positives: peace, calm, patience, kindness, generosity, humility, rejoicing, promoting whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praise worthy (Philippians 4:8). These all come from a heart that is centered on God.
We start with God. He is love. His divine nature is love.
1 John 4:8
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
He created out of love, because that is who and what he is. He wrote us into his incredible, crazy, wonderful story because he is love and he chose to create us and love us.
We are commanded to love him and our neighbor, and we can only do this because as 1 John 4:19 says: We love because he first loved us.
He is the First Cause and because he first loved us we are commanded to love.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).
We as his children are to love him supremely and out of that overflow love everyone else.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).
Who is your closet neighbor? Your family.
Our love for God is where establishing a loving home starts. Our love for God spills over onto those around us
You will never do 1 Cor. 13 perfectly, but through the Spirit’s power you can come very close on most days.
The other building materials, generosity, peace, and joy won’t function if you don’t glue them together with love.
Tell your loved ones you love them constantly, and here’s the hard part – serve them sacrificially.
Jesus said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
Jesus tells us to love one another as he has loved us. How did he love us?
Sacrificially. Laid down his life for us. There will be many times you will be called to lay down your life for someone in your home. Lay it down to your own wants and desires. Your own needs and concerns.
Do it. Lay it down. Love. Serve. Be like Jesus.
You are loved.