What does Love mean to Us?

ahr3Love. What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of a kiss between a man and woman? Do you think of a parent loving up on his or her child? Maybe you think of the way Hollywood displays love in the films they produce. Or maybe you think one person caring for another. Either way, in today’s world, love is shown to be many different things and not all of them are right.

Most of you have heard the saying that “God is love”. It is absolutely true. But if we don’t know what love is, how can we even begin to know what God is?

1 John‬ ‭4:7-8‬

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

We are taught that one of the greatest commandments given is to love your neighbor as yourself. That means that it is necessary to really understand what love is, so we can do what God asks of us too.

Let’s first look at what the Bible says about love.

1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

It seems a pretty straightforward answer, does it not? But it is not so easy to carry out. To love one another we must be patient and kind. We must not be jealous or boastful or proud or rude. We must not demand our own way. We must not be irritable. You see the point.

We cannot live up to these standards, not without God’s help. But God definitely lives up to this and more. He is perfect, sovereign, and holy. Holy means to be set apart. God is set apart from us. The best part is that love will last forever!

Though God is love, sometimes we doubt that this is true. Why? Because we see the destruction and death that God allows in this world He created. How could a loving God allow this? He has every right, the only right, to allow it and much worse because we are the ones who sinned against Him in the beginning. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin this place became a sinful world. The death and destruction are the consequences of our actions. God gave us the consequences that we deserved. But God was so loving that He didn’t leave us in the pit we had dug for ourselves. He sent his only Son to live with us and die for us. To save us from ourselves.

Have you ever heard that a parent spanks his or her kid out of love? That it is as hard for the parent to spank or punish the kid as it is for the kid to receive that punishment? It is kind of the same thing when God allows us to get consequences for our sins.

What I’m trying to get at is that sometimes loving a person doesn’t mean giving them what they want. Sometimes it means giving them what they need. And a lot of the time that is not what they want.

So as we start this new year, let’s grow and learn in our love for one another. Knowing that when we follow God, we’ll be giving what people need, even if it is not what they want.

I hope that this year is filled with blessings and joy for every single one of you.

Happy New Year!

-G. Paige 

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To Christian Teens: Why We Need To Obey Our Parents

aheartredeemedimageWe, as teens with parents, have been told time and time again to obey our parents. But do we really know why? Why should we obey our parents? This is what I want to go into a bit today.

Colossians 3:20

Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.

Since we were created to glorify God, we should want to please Him, the creator of the universe. If we live in Jesus, he gives us the ability to please and obey Him. If pleasing Him includes obeying our parents then I think we should do just that. That’s good enough of a reason, right? We should want to obey God with every fiber of our being. So why don’t we?

1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:34‬

Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.

I believe it is the consequence of living in a fallen world. Sin is such a big temptation for us. It’s part of our nature to sin. So we disobey our parents either with disrespect, back talk, lies, and the list goes on. There are many reasons why: maybe we want control and we’re tired parents telling us what to do (we are teenagers, we can make our own decisions, right) or maybe we just are in a really bad mood and don’t want to listen to anyone (I do that quite a bit) or maybe we want to disobey, just to cross the line. Either way, we are teenagers so that means we should be able to see that obeying our parents is the right thing to do.

Ephesians‬ ‭6:1-3‬

Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

It’s still very hard though, isn’t it? But if we lean and trust in Jesus Christ. We can do anything.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

When it feels impossible, just remember that: God is with you all the way, so what can be impossible? Anyways, your parents are probably trying to follow God too and do right by you. They are trying to teach you to do what is right so you won’t make any mistakes that you later regret. They have so much more experience than you. They have your best interests at heart. But most importantly, they love you. God gave you to them. So whatever punishment you think is unfair or whatever thing they told you to do that you don’t think you should, know that it is for your own benefit. And most likely, in later years (or now) you’ll be so grateful to have had such amazing God-loving parents. What could we have done without them? They’re a small reflection of what our Father in Heaven is like.

Proverbs 13:24

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

Our parents are just doing what they’re called to do. We don’t have to love it, but we can respect and honor their decisions. We’ll really appreciate it later.

So I’m just going to shout out to my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad for being such spectacular parents to me! I love you guys and I want you to know that it really really really means a lot how much that you’ve done and your doing for me.

-G. Paige
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