And may the Lord make you increase
and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you…
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you,
for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.
– 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 4:9
God is love (1 John 4:16). His very nature is perfect love, but because of sin love does not always come freely and naturally to His children. You may have been raised in a home where love was not expressed. Perhaps you were hurt by someone you loved, and your heart became hardened as a defense against further pain. You may love others but not know how to express your love in words or actions. You may feel frustrated because you have been called by God to love, yet you do not understand how to love others.
Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica to encourage them not to become disheartened as they learned to love each other (1 Thess. 3:7). They did not need Paul to explain to them how to love, for God Himself would teach them how to love one another. God would give them His love, and as they followed Him, He would cause that love to multiply. If they found someone who was difficult to love, God would enable them to love through His Holy Spirit.
God in His grace has made provision for our human weakness, and He is prepared to teach us how to love one another. There are no exceptions. God can teach us to love even that especially difficult person. Are you struggling to love someone? God will help you. He will enable you to love your parents, your spouse, your children, your friends, or your enemy in a deeper way than you could ever love them on your own. If you do not know how to express your love in a meaningful way, God will teach you how to do this. God is the authority on love. As you relate to others, ask God to make His love overflow to them through your life.
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.