A Foundation of Love
“For this is the message that ye have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” - I John 3:10
The entire family structure is built on a foundation of love. Devastation will be present when love is absent from the family. God created the family in Genesis chapter two when He took woman out of man and brought her to Adam. Adam then spoke those inspired words, “…bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman…Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:22-23) Love is the clue that God intended would cause this cleaving to be permanent.
Sadly, sin spoiled the perfect love in the family and introduced such things as run contrary to love such as deception, blame shifting, uncertainty, jealously and ultimately hate. “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” (I John 3:11) God never intended that such traits would be present in the midst of the family, and when they are they will work to try to destroy the love on which the family is built. These negative traits attack the family relationships and eventually, if let to grow, will destroy love in the family.
Therefore, we must not feed the forces that would destroy love, but rather feed love. Love has always been fed by actions of love. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (I John 3:18) Too many “love” relationships are built on words instead of deeds. Words create an infatuation, not true love. When a marriage and a family is built on infatuation it is sure to fall before too long. However, true love abides and endures long after infatuation has faded. (Proverbs 5:19)
What are then these actions of love? These too are mentioned in this passage of Scripture. Love requires the absence of hate, but it is so much more than that.
I. Love Requires Sacrifice - “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (I John 3:16) Where there is true love there must be a degree of sacrifice. This is the ability to set aside ones own wants and desires to indulge the needs or wants of another. God showed us His love through sacrifice. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Even so love in the family must be shown through sacrifice.
The root of many relationship problems in the family come because of a lack of sacrifice. Two people both must have their way and neither will sacrifice their own wants to indulge the other so the tension grows to the point where hate is given a place of entrance into the relationship. True love requires the action of sacrifice.
II. Love Requires Provision - “But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (I John 3:17) Love requires that we would care for the needs of the one we love. When the man of the home is faithful to provide for the needs of his family there will be a growth of love. When the wife steps up to provide the help meet her husband needs there will be a growth of love for the family. When children are willing to help out with what their parents need them to do their will be a growth of love in the family. True love does not talk about providing what the family needs, rather love requires that the shoulder be put to the plow and the action to be performed.
III. Love Requires Truth - “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (I John 3:18) Where true love abounds there must also abide honesty. Dishonesty is the companion of hate. “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” (Proverbs 26:28) Therefore there is a need for honesty if love will abound. Family relationships are strained when honesty is absent. When husbands and wives cannot be honest with one another it will weaken their relationship, it will weaken their love for each other. Deception begins to wear away the love that God intended would bring permanency to the cleaving to each other as a marriage and a family.
When a family has strong sacrifice, provision, and honesty it can withstand almost anything because the love of that family will be strong. We need to work on feeding these attributes into our families that we too may be strong enough to withstand the difficult times that every family eventually faces. May true love be the winning force in our marriages and in our families each and every day.