John 15:12 “Love each other as I have loved you.”

Let’s face it sometimes it is hard to love someone, let alone as Christ loved us. At first glance, this verse seems straight- forward, “love as I have loved you.” Jesus’s love for us is deep, intimate, all-consuming, perfect, unconditional, and sacrificial. His love never loses its fire, never fails us, it surrounds us constantly. His love is faithful, long-suffering, forgiving, giving, and protective. There is nothing to compare to it. The greatest love story between two people can never compare to it.We long to be loved by someone here on this earth in a way that mirrors that kind of love.

We fall in love, and we promise to love unconditionally, to give ourselves to one another, to be faithful, and so on. But all too often fall short in our efforts. Loving someone is work. At first, it is all-consuming, exciting, fresh, and new, and we are laser-focused on winning that person’s heart, it seems effortless, but all too often once that heart has been won, and as time goes by, it is not held and protected as it should be. People are moody, distracted, and selfish. So many times there may be good intentions with bad follow-through. Keeping love alive in a marriage is work, and it takes two to do it. It takes relationship, realness, communication, openness, tenderness, and intimacy. We need to invest in the one God gave us, we need to consider their needs above our own.

Jesus would not have told us to love as He loves if it wasn’t possible. But how? I think first we need to read God’s word so that we are intimately acquainted with Him. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to give us the power and wisdom to know how to love, and we need to pray and seek Him when we first start our journey together, and throughout the years we spend together. Jesus must be the head of your relationship.

We need to guard our hearts as we walk this sinful earth. Our world is filled with lots of eye candy, and lots of distractions. There are so many things that can pull and tug at us. This world seems to be more and more self-serving and less and less sacrificial. In all of our relationships, we need to let love guide us. We are told in His word that, “Love never fails.”

On this earth, people will hurt us, use us, and maybe even leave us, but Jesus never will. His word tells us that He is faithful to the end. As His children, we can never lose His love. His love is what nailed Him to the cross, His love conquered death, hell, and the grave. His love will one day bring him back again. People will let you down, they will hurt you, and maybe even break your heart, but God never will. We may not always understand His ways, but we can trust that He means all of it for our good, and His glory.

We need to look at those in our lives that God has given us and be sure that we are loving them with all we have, the very best we can. Agape love…That is what we get, and that is what we need to give; “as He has loved us.

Take a love test. Look deep into your heart and soul and make sure you are loving God first, and then take a long look at those in your life, whether it be your spouse, another family member, or friends, and see if your love is self-serving or selfless. Loving as Christ loves us is a daily work, and the way we can do it best is by looking at His perfect love and imitating it here on earth. To be like Him…that should be our goal.