Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

This is the first in a nine part series on “The Fruit of the Spirit”.  Love is such an amazing word. We use it so often for so much. I love my husband.  I love to snow ski.  I love pizza.  I love watching movies at the theater.  But most of this is not really love as described and defined in the Bible.

One of the best definitions of what love is can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”

It only took me a short time being married to realize that love is not an easy thing to give.  It’s so easy to be selfish, or want your way.  So easy to hold a grudge and put up your guard.   But it’s supposed to be different with God’s love.

In my MOPS group, we’re reading “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George.  In Titus 2:4, it talks about “loving your children”.  On page 138, Elizabeth gave a great explanation on what that’s supposed to mean.

“…The Greek language has several words for love. Agapeo is the kind of love God has for us as His children.  He loves us inspite of our sin; He loves us unconditionally; and He loves us regardless and no matter what.  And certainly we mothers are to extend this kind of godly love to our children.

But phileo is the word God chose to convey mother-love here in Titus 2:4.  Phileo love is affectionate love, a love that cherishes its object.  It is friendship love, a love that enjoys children, a love that likes them! God calls parents to build the family on a foundation of biblical teaching, instruction, and discipline.  The home gains a heart, however, when parents not only love their children but like them as well.”

This week as I read this chapter, I was really challenged.  I’ve found myself slipping into worldly love.  Not really liking my children some days.  Really being annoyed with the little things they do.  But they’re only children.  They’re not even 2 and 4- and they do not have the Holy Spirit inside of them.  Yet, I do.  So I was convicted that I’ve got to pray to really LOVE my husband and children.  To allow God to work in me, for this type of love is so unnatural.  This year, my prayer is that you and I may learn to really love others like Christ loves us.