How Can We Love Others When We Don’t ‘Feel The Love’

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

As I am writing this on Saturday, my husband just left to take my son to an activity. He asked me if I wanted him to drop off a prescription I’d mentioned I had. I said yes. Then I saw he had a book. “Are you going to Starbucks or something to read?” I asked. “Well, what if I am? Maybe. Is that okay?”

In my head I was thinking, Two hours on a Saturday morning where we could actually have a conversation and you are leaving? While also telling myself, You still aren’t dressed and do you really feel like having a conversation right now? You are barely awake!

My husband could see my rambling thoughts and said, “Okay, I will spell it out. I need go Valentine’s shopping for you, okay?” I said, “Oh, okay. I haven’t gotten anything for you yet either so I need to go out later too.”

Is this love? Yes, it’s one of the many kinds of love. My husband bringing home some medication for me (along with a card and maybe some flowers) is just part of the love people can have in a marriage.

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow, some of you will feel loved by those around you. And quite frankly, some of you may not. There may be tears shed–and it won’t be like in the commercials–because someone is giving you diamonds. . . but because someone you cared about didn’t even call.

How can we love others, express joy and compassion, and give others grace when we may not be receiving it ourself? We cannot. Without God’s love, it is completely impossible.

1 John 4:19 says it very bluntly: “We love because He first loved us.” We are only able to love others, give of ourself, risk being disappointed, and show compassion and grace to others because God first loved us.

Spend a moment today writing a note to someone you know needs a Valentine tomorrow. Who would be blessed and surprised to receive an email, an e-greeting, or a phone call from you on Valentine’s Day? Is there someone who will be alone tomorrow? A friend who has lost a spouse? Someone who feels completely unattractive from her illness? Someone who has an ill child whose mailbox is empty of Valentines. B

ecause God first loved us you can love anyone. Just do it.

Prayer: Lord, because You loved me, I can love anyone. Remind me that my circumstances don’t define how much I can love or who I can love. Through Your love the possibilities are endless.

About the Author:
Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since 1993 and has dealt with daily pain since. But she began Rest Ministries in 1996 out of her experience in order for others to share relationships to bring friendships and a closer walk with God. You can read ways to reach out to the chronically ill in her book “Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.”

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