I've pondered a very long while on the subject of how to love others. With differing relationships, the nature of the love differs as well, but it is always called the same thing: love. Love is when we care about another's well-being. It can entail self-sacrifice at times. Love is always a good thing, but that doesn't mean it's always a simple thing to do.
These thoughts of mine have come about because I have been struggling to ensure that my children feel loved. They are most certainly loved, but what I wonder almost daily is if they realize it and can see because they feel it. They are all growing up so quickly, and the problems are becoming complex, as is normal, but I hope to be a guiding light for them, not an added reason for years of therapy.
Another aspect of my life that has caused me to ponder how to better love people is that I recognize a dilemma, and I don't know what to do with it. I can't even figure out how to describe the dilemma without oversharing, and I don't want to do that this go around. I'll simply share some of the questions that float around as I strive to be honest and kind and loving. How do you love someone without becoming invested? Is that even possible? What does it take to truly feel the pure love of Christ for others? What more can I do to be loving without being rejected? What could I do a little differently to offer pure love to those around me? I wonder what answers will come to me as life plays out. I am at another crossroads with a blindfold on almost.
Without searching the topic out, I discovered these scriptures where Paul is writing to the Thessalonians and explaining how the apostles loved them and showed them through not becoming a burden. And I saw part of my answer to these questions:
Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God witness:
1 Thessalonians 2:5-8I realized in that moment how I simply need to keep being kind and loving, avoid being burdensome, and reach out with gentleness to the people I love. I especially was struck by the words affectionately desirous and the last lines "willing to have imparted unto you…our own souls, because ye [are] dear unto us." As I let those words sink into my heart and comfort my questioning soul, I know what I need to do.
This month I want to follow the example of the apostles in my seeking to become more like the Savior and love with a pure heart. Doing things to show how dear people are to me and being gentle and affectionate. Honesty of heart and speaking truthfulness without flattery are goals to work toward as well. As the month goes on, I hope to develop some new habits of appreciation or at least improve upon what I do by doing things a little bit differently.
I hope you will join me in the challenge this month. If you feel comfortable, I cordially invite you to share your experience or thoughts.