What Real Love Looks Like

October 13, 2021

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. Romans 12:9-12 NLT

Have you ever been able to be part of or witness a family where love was consistently at home? I have been blessed by the splashing overflow of this kind of love many times over the years through friendships with different families and was especially gifted by growing up in a home with deep, consistent real love as the foundation.

When I read Romans 12:9-12 I see a recipe for this kind of love that my mother took seriously. She saw it as her responsibility to foster that love, and one of the ways she did it was by posting all kinds of reminders around our home. Most of them were in her own handwriting on posterboard or wood burned. One small plaque she had purchased said, “A happy home is an early taste of heaven.”

A favorite that sums up the attitude of real, deep love and makes everything else possible hung beside our kitchen table from about 6th grade on up for me and then in the homes she and Dad shared as empty nesters. I loved it so much that when they went to heaven I brought it to our home. Now it hangs in our breakfast room as a continual reminder of what real love looks like. Real love takes responsibility for the actions that make life run smoothly.

The Romans writer says you do it by taking all pretense out of your love and making it authentic. Hate everything that is bad and destructive. Hold on to everything that is good. Show genuine, active affection. Delight in showing honor to others—put them first and lift them up in affirming ways. Never be lazy—work hard to carry your weight. Serve the Lord enthusiastically first and foremost at home, making hope and confidence your signature. When the inevitable troubles happen, be characterized by patience and prayer. Pray about them, don’t gossip about them. Can you imagine a home like that? The wheels will run smoothly for the journey of life and that home will be a vehicle to take the family to their forever home.

  • God, help me be the axle grease to make the wheels of our home run smoothly!