This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has on one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:12-13
Love is a choice. Either you choose to behave lovingly toward others . . . or not; either you behave yourself in ways that enhance your relationships . . . or not. But make no mistake: genuine love requires effort. Simply put, if you wish to build lasting relationships, you must be willing to do your part.
Christ’s words are clear: we are to love God first, and secondly, we are to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). These two commands are seldom easy, and because we are imperfect beings, we often fall short. But God’s Word commands us to try.
The Christian path is an exercise in love and forgiveness. If we are to walk in Christ’s footsteps, we must forgive those who have done us harm, and we must accept Christ’s love by sharing it freely with family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers.
God does not intend for you to experience mediocre relationships; He created you for far greater things. Building lasting relationships requires compassion, wisdom, empathy, kindness, courtesy, and forgiveness. If that sounds a lot like work, it is, which is perfectly fine with God. Why? Because He knows that you are capable of doing that work, and because He knows that the fruits of your labors will enrich the lives of your loved ones and the lives of generations yet unborn.
Do you want love to last? Then you must understand this: Genuine love requires effort. That’s why those who are lazy in love are often losers in love, too!
– Steve Arterburn
No man truly has joy unless he lives in love. – Thomas Aquinas
It is when we come to the Lord in our nothingness, our powerlessness and our helplessness that He then enables us to love in a way which, without Him, would be absolutely impossible. – Elisabeth Elliot
Love is extravagant in the price it is willing to pay, the time it is willing to give, the hardships it is willing to endure, and the strength it is willing to spend. Love never thinks in terms of ‘how little,’ but always in terms of ‘how much.’ Love gives, love knows, and love lasts. – Joni Eareckson Tada
To love another person is to see the face of God. – Victor Hugo
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:11 NASB