The Way to Love

Along the narrow way

I’ve often wondered about God’s idea of love and how the essence of the meaning might differ from my own. I mean, how can we love the Lord with all our heart and soul if we can’t love our neighbors, friends, or brothers? After much thought, I’ve come to see; the way to love is a topic I don’t fully understand.

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If I speak in tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and If I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV

Lost and found

The reality of being lost and alone can make a strong man or woman tremble. We want nothing more than to be found. With that in mind, I’ve also wondered why we spend so much time running away from the only one who seeks to save us from ourselves. There are many ways to get lost. Here are a few that hit home.

  • We get lost in selfishness
  • Spend time lost in worry
  • Consumed or lost in a competition
  • Fill in the blank with your own way here: —-

Some paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.

Road Trip Soul lindsey@roadtripsoul.com

The road to forevermore

Although the path to finding the full meaning of God’s transcendent agape love is rocky, steep, and full of potholes, I’ve laced my hiking boots extra tight for the journey…knowing, on this side of heaven, his love proves to be too much for my simple mind to comprehend.

  1. God’s agape’ love for us is unconditional.
  2. Unconditional = The highest form of all love and contrasts with romantic or erotic love.
  3. His way to love is not our way.
  4. God’s love is eternal.

With God’s help, I learned how the steepest part of the journey gives way to adventure. My husband and I search for today’s joys and believe we’ll find his way. We walk together bearing all our scars for everyone to see. Some couples can’t bear to look ahead or wait for the sun to shine on them again—others watch for the first sign of morning light and then realize they’re still holding hands. What if we choose to hold on no matter what each day brings, to stay faithful, and to fill our beach bags and backpacks with memories? Let’s hope most days are good and pray our lives are examples of the reality of true love’s sacrifice. We’ll show our vivid inner colors searching for the way to love—even when others only see a million shades of gray.

The road to forevermore is rocky, steep, and amazing

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A path to righteousness?

God promises to lead and guide us on the path to righteousness. He calls us to love in such humble ways. Sometimes, he calls us to walk down roads we don’t want to travel, but then he faithfully leads us to hidden treasure along the way. I remember a few of these supernatural moments in my life when The Holy of Holies opened my eyes and ears and allowed me to catch a glimpse of the spiritual realm . . . when again, he called me to be the watchman on four of my darkest nights. Though it wasn’t easy to hold another loved one’s hand as their life ebbed away, somehow, I felt blessed on the way.

I will instruct and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

Psalm 32:8 NIV

It’s hard for me to comprehend that God would give us such treasure—a parting gift from heaven before they took their last breath. To watch them cross over to heaven and know we will see them again. The certainty of a better place sealed with one last kiss—and yet, I wonder why.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:8 ESV

Passion. Devotion. Purpose.

I remember the day I met my husband. His warm gestures, conversation, and sincere kindness melted my hardened heart in a matter of hours. Believe me, I tried to ward him off, but his gorgeous hazel eyes had a supernatural mesmerizing way. Picture a petite red headed girl that looked like one humongous goose bump. Truth. After a few moments, I knew. He’s different. Yippie! My stomach turned—but in a good way.

That was thirty years ago. Four sons, two daughters-in-law, and four precious grands have blessed us in ways I could never have hoped to understand. He’s my favorite hero besides my dad and our Father in heaven. It didn’t take too long for me to realize this kind of love is a once-in-a-lifetime Godsend. And yes, it is also totally undeserved.

We promise to accept each other forever. The good, bad, and ugly moments of our life mingle and settle in for the ride. We decide to stay when we want to run away from the one we promised to always cherish. Love is an active choice—and sometimes, love hurts.

Learning not to hate = Finding the way to love

The holy scriptures of the Bible declare God’s son Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. For those who believe this truth, I ask, “Why are we so self-absorbed; even consumed, by the world’s ways? If we’re called to be meek like doves, why do some spit venom like serpents, or conspire—even in the name of God to destroy our enemies—when the way of our mighty God is NOT that way?”

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.”

Psalm 143:10 NIV

You have heard that it is said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect

Matthew 5:43-48 ESV

Love one another

Love burns like a fire and sends storms with torrential rain. It leaves deep scars and invades our lives. If our hearts aren’t strong enough to endure, we might be left breathless or alone. Love is not a lie told to make us cry, but I promise, it will. What if, as Jesus did, we decide to love one another in spite of our differences? Might we give the best part of ourselves in the process? Maybe then our love for others might be evident throughout the world.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV

No looking back

In truth and in the power of God’s Word, I believe Love was with us from the beginning of time. Elohim: the infinite all-powerful creator, sustainer, and supreme judge of the world led us on our way.

‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

Jeremiah 32:17
If you want to be reminded of God’s love for us, watch the sun rise

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

Marcus Aurelius

Dear Friends,

The Almighty Father loves us far beyond our comprehension.  He allows us to become broken at times, not to abandon or forsake us as evil wants us to believe, but so we can find rest in Him in the midst of what we think is our end. Our desolation. We can run to Him and find power in our worship, and in the deepest cry of our hearts, because He knows our pain. After all, He sent His one and only son Jesus to save us from ourselves and show us the way to love.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love

1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV

Have you ever wondered about God’s way to love and how it differs from our ways? Your thoughts matter. I’d love to hear from you in the Inspire A Fire comments section below. Read all my IAF stories here, or check out my Dreamdove’s Flights of Fancy blog here (*or any highlighted text in this post). Let’s look ahead with hope for a blessed 2021. Wishing you good health, joy, and love for your journey…

Joann

Special thanks to PIXABAYfor use of all free images: Feature image by Photo Mix, G1TL image by StockSnap, TC image by Free-Photos, TR image by James Chan, Bottom Lg image by Comfreak. Single Lg image by StockSnap. G2TL image by Sasin Tipchai, TC image by StockSnap, TR image by Free-Photos, Bottom image by DarkmoonArt_de. Single Lg image by sabri ismail    

Joann Claypoole

Joann Claypoole is an author, speaker, master stylist/colorist, and former spa-girl entrepreneur. She's a wife, mother of four sons, “Numi” to four grandbabies, doggie-mom of two. The award-winning author of The Gardener’s Helper’s (ages 5-9 MJ Publishing2015) would rather be writing, hiking in the mountains, or inviting deer and other wildlife to stay for dinner near her western NC writing retreat. Visit her website: joannclaypoole.com and WordPress blog: https://joannclaypoole.wordpress.com/

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4 comments

  1. Another must read blog,truly meaningful and beautiful! Plz read,comment, like and share this blog, with friends and family!

  2. What a wonderful thing to read about and think on – the great love of God! Sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend just how much He loves us. It’’s overwhelming.
    The enemy tries to steal that treasure from us, but he fails every time. Jesus is always reminding us and demonstrating just how deep and how wide and everlasting His love is for us.
    Thanks for this post.❤️

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