Many perceive love as being flowery and easy, almost fairytale-like. What we fail to realize is that fairytales always end at “And they lived happily ever after.” leaving us to imagine what happens during the “happily ever after” love.
As Christians we are taught three cardinal rules of love:
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind (St. Matthew 22:37-38)
- Love yourself (unspoken rule) (St. Matthew 22:39)
- Love your neighbor as yourself (St. Matthew 22:39)
I recently posited to a friend that a lot of the issues faced in our world today can be traced back to our failure to keep one or all of these cardinal rules. You heard me right! The world’s issues, at their core, are the result of failures to love (we can argue this point another day but check St. Matthew 22:40). 🙂
But, can I be honest for a second? I struggle with consistently heeding all three cardinal rules. In reflecting, I acknowledged that this was a topic worth diving into and so, I will be diving into each of the cardinal rules of love in a 3-part series.
The first and greatest love requirement of all…
Everything we are flows from what is already within us (our hearts) and so, if we master how to love God, we will master how to love ourselves and others because simply put, God is love.
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” – Luke 6:45 NLT
When I think of relationship goals, I think of the love God has for us and the wonder that would exist if we could love Him on a similar level. However, I struggle to consistently love God especially when it comes to spending time with Him. I get it right in one season and then fail utterly in another season as things become overwhelming and I become too tired and drained, don’t feel like it or feel too ashamed to face Him because I messed up. I can only imagine how God must feel when these seasons occur because frankly it sucks when the person you love doesn’t love you properly or doesn’t deem you important enough to spend time with you.
On the matter of spending time with Him…
Early in my Christian life, a minister told us that we should endeavor to spend 1/10th of our day (2.4 hours) with God. He based this principle off tithing. I’ve never gotten to that 1/10th number but at some point I deemed that spending at maximum an hour a day with God was a good metric to keep. And don’t get me wrong, it worked for the most part because I felt better connected to God, however, something was still missing. I had compartmentalized God to a particular portion of my day (every night at 11:30pm-12:30am).
He meets us in the everyday moments…
Early in my career, I enjoyed the 20-min walk to and from my bus stop to the office (this is probably one of the reasons I was never fussy about owning a car). These moments gave me the opportunity to just enjoy being in the moment, or reflect and talk to God about my worries and observations. It was in these moments that I made some of my greatest discoveries by design.
I recently read something that stuck with me: “We don’t always have to go to the mountain to meet with God. He will meet us during the everyday moments of our lives.” I realized that my experiences, during my morning and evening walks to and from work, are pretty similar to:
- St. John 4 – Jesus met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well when she went to draw water. She was doing chores.
- John 20:11-18 – Jesus met Mary Magdalene at the tomb. She was seeking Him.
- Genesis 18 – God met Abraham as he sat outside his tent. They ended up having lunch together. He was relaxing.
- Genesis 28:10-22 – God met Jacob in a dream at Bethel. He was sleeping.
- Exodus 3 – God met Moses in the desert where he tended his father-in-law’s flock. He was working.
- Acts 9:1-31 – Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus, on his way to persecute Christians. He was working.
- God met me in dark corner outside a church as I stood crying my eyes out. I was hiding.
Scripture does show that He is capable of meeting us in the everyday moments of our lives. We just have to be present in the moments, ensuring we don’t miss when the meeting occurs and what He said reveals to us.
One final thing…
I’m not saying that it is not important to carve out a specific amount of time to spend with God daily. Being intentional about spending time with God is one way to foster our relationship with Him. However, we shouldn’t just be boxing Him into an 1-hour daily slot (going to the mountain). In our natural relationships, we touch base and connect with the people we love throughout the day. A quick call or text to let them know we are thinking about them. A text to share something that made us laugh or smile. A lengthy call to rant or talk about something that made or upset our day. This is on top of the carved out specific time. We are happiest in our relationships when these little moments occur because they make us feel loved, seen and wanted. If we say we love God, shouldn’t that love be shown throughout the day?
The Point? I assure you there is one… 🙂
Loving God means incorporating Him into every area of our daily life. And when we do that, the nature of our hearts begin to overflow into the occurrences of our daily lives and we find it easier to abide with not just cardinal rule of love #1 but also cardinal rules of love #2 and #3 (we love ourselves and our neighbors).
P.S.: I’m encouraged whenever I think of loving God because I know He doesn’t expect us to be prefect and makes room for our failures. It also makes me realize if I am going to claim to be of God, I will be required to reflect His love nature (grace and compassion) to myself and my neighbors.
Thank you for stopping by and reading. I would love to hear about the ways in which you incorporate God into your everyday life. Please share in the comments section, below. 🙂
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favour and give you peace” – Numbers 6: 23-26
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I am a dynamic young lady who loves the Lord and seek to have a joy that no one can take away. My all-time favourite thing to do is gaining discoveries by design from My Father during our time each day. Reading, learning and trying new things falls behind in a close second place. My dream is to use my God-given talents to positively impact as many people as possible. As a proud Wolmerian, with a zest for life, I adhere to the “Age Quod Agis” motto in that whatsoever I do, I always do it to the best of my ability.