Love Comes from God
GOD VALUES LOVE BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 John 4:16-19.
Verse of the Day: “God is love” (1 John 4:16).
“Mom, Curtis pushed me!” Tina cried as she burst into the house.
“Did not!” Curtis protested, following closely on her heels.
“Did too!” Tina said, barely holding back the tears in her eyes. “I hate you!”
“All right now,” Mom said. “That’s enough. Both of you come sit at the table.” The children sat in chairs on opposite sides of the kitchen table.
“Tina,” Mom said, “you don’t hate your brother. At least I hope you don’t.”
“Well…,” Tina said, hesitating, “I don’t love him.”
“You should,” Mom said, “because love is right. You know that. God commands us to love each other because he values love. And he values love because he is love.”
“I know,” Tina said. She glared across the table at Curtis. “I try to love him, Mom, I really do. But then he goes and does something really mean.”
“And you, Curtis,” Mom said, turning to her son. “You ought to love your sister.”
Curtis said, “I can’t, Mom. She’s my sister.” He spoke the word with a snarl.
“Well, you’re right,” Mom said, “in a way. Neither one of you can love the other . . . not on your own, at least.”
“What do you mean?” Tina asked.
“Well, love doesn’t come from us,” Mom said. “So we can’t manufacture it. It comes from God.” She reached out and turned over one of Tina’s hands. “Just like those stains on your hands come from the berry patch.”
Tina flashed a guilty look at her mom. “We were in the raspberries again.”
“I know,” Mom said. “I can tell. When you’ve been in the raspberries, you come home wearing the evidence. The berry juice just rubs off, doesn’t it?”
Curtis and Tina nodded.
“It’s the same with loving someone else when it doesn’t come easily. Wishing won’t help. And trying won’t help. Love comes from God, because he is love. So if you want to love someone, you’ve got to start letting God’s love ‘rub off on you. If you live in God—and I know you both do—you’ve got to give his love a chance to grow in you, through daily prayer and Bible reading, for example. The more time you spend with him, the more your attitudes toward each other will change.” “I guess we need to go wash our hands now, don’t we?” Curtis asked. Mom nodded. “You need to do something else, too.” Curtis looked from his mom to his sister. “I’m sorry,” he said to Tina. “Me too,” Tina answered. She stood. “Let’s go,” she said to Curtis.
TO DISCUSS: How can you love someone when it doesn’t come naturally or easily? Will wishing or trying help? Why or why not?
TO PRAY: “Loving God, we admit that we can’t love anyone on our own. Thank you for helping us to love others.”