Whispers of Unlove

"...if we love one another,
God abides in us and His love is perfected in us."
1 John 4:12 (ESV)

“I don’t love well. How can I possible teach it?”

My husband laughed, and he who knew me so well exposed his bias, contradicting my statement. (Perhaps love really is blind.)

I was in the lineup to teach a group of young moms on “Walking in Love,” but preparations were not flowing and, in fact, felt sterile. Doesn’t everyone want to teach on love? Isn’t it the most welcoming of all lessons to teach, the topic most easily received? After all, God wired us for love.

But here is where I hit the paradox wall. I am wired for love, yet completely incapable of it apart from the One whose very essence is love.

Amy Carmichael, missionary to India a century ago, said, “The Lord make us sensitive to the merest whisper of unlove in our hearts, He that loveth … abideth.”

I find the lack of love in me is more of the blaring kind than a whisper. Whispers are there too, ironically toward those I call my “loved ones” – whispers of criticism, longing for them to reach their fullest potential; whispers of blame, remembering past wrongs; whispers of impatience and irritation, because it’s easier to express this with someone you “love.”

Deadly whispers deceptively couched in love.

But it is not love as God loves.

God’s love is infinite, unfailing, boundless, sacrificial, patient, kind, compassionate, slow to anger, enduring. God’s love covers me and nothing can separate me from His love.

Love covers a multitude of sins, scripture teaches. Paul called it the greatest fruit. Jesus proclaimed it the greatest commandment on which all the rest of the law hangs. Love God, then others. No other way.