by Barbara Nicholson
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I've thought about that word most my life. Valentine's Day has most of America at least subject to having 'love' on their mind.
But what does that mean?
Without a definition I can only fall back on my experience of the word. What if I only felt loved when my actions were approved by someone else? What if I was continually told, "I love you," by an abuser? What if love only meant "sex" to me? What if love meant receiving flowers to me and washing the car to you? Without an anchor how can I know if I am being loving?
I was recently at an intensive training held by a gentleman that has thought a lot more about the word love than most of us! The training was the Re_Orient Intensive -- an equipping program prior to the release of the book Re_Orient. The author is Kevin Weaver (www.thereorientbook.com).
His definition of LOVE is "the kind of love that contends for the highest possible good in every circumstance and relentlessly contending until it is a present tense reality."
He reminds us to ask the questions, "What would love do?" or "What's the highest possible good in that situation?"
For me, I need to step out of my box. We all have them. The preconceived notions of a word or a definition and how 'we' think 'that' should look.
Thank you Kevin Weaver for taking the time to search out what the original meaning of the word love is (agape love - a God kind of unconditional love).
Considering the above definition I discovered room for 'love' improvement in every area of my life!
Words are a passion of mine. But practical application to my daily life is priceless.
So, what does this look like? In my corner of the world I am a Daughter of the King, a wife, a mom, a seeker of truth, a business owner, a friend, an animal lover, a nature freak, and a whole lot more! I have a lot of areas to 'love' in!
I began by asking - What does this mean in my walk with God? What is the highest possible good? Today, for me, was to be jealous of my time with God. For me, it is out of the fullness I receive from being with Him that I operate the best! How do I contend for that? For me, today, I purposefully set time aside just for Jesus and I to hang out. We laughed together. The time was amazing!
I can get overwhelmed with the sheer possibility of all the areas I should or could be more loving. All the things I could or should do. All the opportunities presented to me on a daily basis to do.
Now I have a new filter.
I don't have to map my entire life out at this moment. I can begin by simply asking that question for right now - today, and then contending for the ideal.
What would love do?
If I was wore out from over doing - would that be the highest good? If my walk with God, my marriage or family suffered because I was not 'loving' well do I even have a right to diligently attempt this elsewhere without first practicing it well in my home or daily areas of influence?
What is the highest possible good, today, in my marriage? For my children? At my job? With the people I am with everyday?
Some examples of the highest possible good (for right now - today) in my life:
As a wife - could I honor my husband better? Yep! Today instead of just giving my opinion I could build him up in an area he could use a boost (Honey, thank you so much for working today to provide for our family! I am honored to be your wife). I could choose to focus on the good in my husband, intentionally, all day! He would say that was one highest possible good for him (from me) today!
As a mom - What is the highest possible good today? Today the highest possible good is for me to be present with my son, to reconnect after a weekend of separation. Yes, I have unpacking to do, laundry, cooking, phone calls, bills, etc to take care of. My son will always be more precious to me than those activities. He really requires so little of my time to be loved - some eye to eye time, a hug, an affirmation, a side by side activity (I did pass on the tandem chain sawing invitation...), a meal shared. He even enjoys helping steward our household and daily business activities with us. The highest possible good would be that I didn't miss that today.
Ask these questions.
Of course I have answers to what the highest possible good could be in different arenas. I'd like to save and change the world! I am not discounting these areas at all! Instead I am moving toward them, contending for Love's Ideal one step at a time. Starting yesterday!
Right now I have today. I am going to DO what I can today.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”(John 13:34-35)
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