The loved-and-loving paradigm

It was just a scrap of conversation, overheard as I walked to work one day. But it jump-started a train of thought that took me right to a healing truth in the Bible. Here’s what I caught: “We need to love him up so he will love his baby sister.”

I recognized the situation—a youngster rebelling at the introduction of a newborn sibling into his family circle. It’s an old story, sometimes having long-standing repercussions as kids grow up. What I appreciated, though, was the inspired solution: “Love him up.” This family member clearly had more than discipline in mind—she had the little boy’s interests at heart. More, she knew the power of love to melt his resistance, to turn it into affection.

The loved-and-loving paradigm has its roots in Scripture. It’s the model delineated in this verse about God: “We love him, because he first loved us” (I John 4:19). Some scholars note that the word “him” was added by translators, making an even stronger point that our love is a direct outcome of God’s love for us.

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Universal love
May 16, 2016

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