Sometimes it is very difficult to love someone. Sure, it’s easy to love the lovely people; but what about those unlovely people that we come in contact with sometimes on a daily basis? More than 50% of our cases at Selah Mountain’s Biblical Counseling Ministry are marriage counseling cases . Invariably, folks come in and say things like: “We just don’t love each other anymore” or “I have fallen out of love with him or her”. We see children that do not know how to love one another. Sometimes we even see an entire family that is struggling because no one has ever taught them the proper roles in the family unit and how important it is to stay within those roles because we love one another and because we love the Lord. This is when we look to the Bible for what it says about how to love one another. I pray that it is helpful to you to see the following Bible verses about loving one another and how you can apply them to your own circumstance whatever it may be.
In the Old Testament we see the Ten Commandments as given to Moses in Exodus 20. In the New Testament when Jesus was questioned by the Sadducees regarding which is the greatest of the commandments He said that all of the commandments can be wrapped into just two. This first one encompasses the first four of the original Ten Commandments, they deal with loving God. Take a look at what Jesus said:
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…”
Jesus Talked About Loving
Love Your Neighbor
In that account with the Sadducees and the scribes Jesus also told them about a second greatest commandment. This second greatest commandment includes the last six of the original ten. Here is what Jesus said:
Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Love One Another
John 13:34 A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are to love one another.
John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 15:12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Love Your Enemy
During Jesus’ earthly ministry He frequently spoke of love and taught how to love one another. He spoke of forgiveness and how we should not hate one another. Take a look at how Jesus re-spoke the Old Testament teachings with his disciples:
Leviticus 19:17-18 Matthew 5:42-44 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”You have heard that it was 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,
Other Love Verses in the Bible
God’s Love for Us
Psalms 103:10-12 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Husbands and Wives Love
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Ephesians 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
Titus 2:4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children.
Life Application: How to Love One Another
So as we can see from the above Bible verses and so many others that are not listed here, we are called to love one another. When we believe that we “no longer love” our husband or wife or that we just cannot love that “unlovely” person we are deceived because clearly we are commanded to love each other, even our enemies. But “how” do we love one another? The truth of the matter is that the kind of love that we should show to one another is an “action” kind of love. We see this demonstrated by our own Heavenly Father in that “God so LOVED the world that he GAVE …”. Our love for one another is best displayed in our actions toward them. Here are some practical things that you can do to show your love for one another:
Husbands to Wives
- Take your leadership role in the home seriously – lead them
- Tell her you love her
- Do family devotions daily
- Be cheerful when you come home from work
- Take care of the children for at least 3 hours a week so she has some free time
- Have a “date night” at least once a month – do it weekly if you are able
- Take care of yourself; practice good hygiene
- Rub her back
- Wear her favorite after-shave lotion
- Do the dishes every now and again
- Set a good example for the children
- Brag about her
- Maintain your own personal Bible time
- Listen to her advice and follow it – sometimes she has an intuition
- Ask for forgiveness when necessary – admit you were wrong when you were
- Take her out to breakfast
- Plan a special get-away
- Serve in ministry with her
- Give her undivided attention when she is talking to you
- Establish a family budget
- Gladly run errands for her
- Consider her point of view on things
- Do not disagree with her in the presence of others (do that privately)
- Always hold her in high regard and do not speak poorly of her
Wives to Husbands
- Accept your husband as your leader and let him know you appreciate his leadership qualities
- Stay interested in what he has set for life goals
- Give him undivided attention when he is talking to you
- Let your husband know that you need him as your protector
- Be content with what he is able to provide, regardless of your living situation
- Let him make final decisions and never say “I told you so”
- Prepare his favorite breakfast
- Kiss him before he leaves for work
- Put a love note in his lunch, pocket or Bible
- Don’t teach or preach to him, leave that to God and godly men
- Be loyal to him in everything. Trust his spiritual insight and don’t chose other men’s spiritual leadership over his (pastors, other men, books, etc.)
- Pray for him with your children – this will build their loyalty to him as the Dad
- Agree with him on appropriate discipline for the children. He is responsible to God for them (Eph 6:4)
- Tell him you love him
- Be excited and celebrate when he has great success and achievements
- Show him you care by how you care for his home (1 Cor 14:40) and how you care for yourself
- Be cheerful when he gets home and greet him at the door; see that the children greet him too
- Teach the children to listen and be attentive to Daddy when he speaks about his day. Dinner time conversations should be light and focus on your husband’s day
- Make your husband your friend and confidant
- Always speak highly of your husband in the presence of others; brag on him too
- Tell someone you love them
- Do something special for one person on a regular basis
- Spend time listening to someone’s needs
- Be honest
- Don’t hold a grudge
- Volunteer in church
- Invite the Pastor and his wife over for lunch or supper
- Be flexible and put other’s needs above your own (Phil 2:3-4)
- Let someone else receive praise instead of yourself
- Don’t walk on your neighbor’s lawn
- Go to a Nursing Home and visit those that have no family
- Pick up trash when you see it on the sidewalk and put it in a trash container
- Allow your pets to have a private space in another room when you have company
- Offer to return someone else’s shopping cart to the store from the parking lot
- Let someone go before you in the grocery checkout line; especially if you have more groceries then they do
- Invite someone to church and even offer them a ride to church
- Allow someone else to have that parking space that is close to the building
- Offer your seat to someone on the bus or train
- Play your car radio at a reasonable level as not to disturb someone else
- Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a stranger today
- Offer to have one-on-one Bible study with a new believer
- Give an anonymous love offering to someone who always shows up to do whatever job is needed in the church.
- Send your Pastor a gift card to a Christian Book Store, just to let him know you love him
- Turn your cell phone off when you are driving in your car, at church or waiting in line for service.
Do You Have Some Ideas?
Little things mean a lot. What are some ideas that you have that we can show how we love one another? Share them in the comments below.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”