Words of Love: The Source of Love
A friend asked me the other day why I thought Dad was so dynamic and incredibly loving to others. He told me he doesn’t know anyone like my Dad, who knew and cared about so many people. I know that Dad had a very magnetic personality, but the true change began when he became totally committed to loving people. Dad understood systems and patterns for success. He understood this about love. Long before Gottman Marriage Institute started to see what experts at relationships were doing, Dad intuitively knew these requirements. Relationship experts overflow with positive touch, eye contact, encouragement, and gratitude for the other. They rarely critique. They are vulnerable and flexible. They take responsibility.
As I talked with my friend, I told him, “Dad decided early on how he would live. He knew God and the human soul are the only things in life that are truly eternal. This made him motivated to put his time into what matters. Houses and cars all go away, but Dad knew people are forever.” I’ve been around many ‘evangelists’ and salesmen. They are often pushy, dogmatic, insensitive, and want the conversion or the sale not because they care about the person but because they want to win; they want the power or the outcome. Dad’s entire end goal was to love God and people. Loving people look very different than trying to convert them. Dad believed so strongly in the role of God saving others he didn’t want to get in the way. He knew that the most persuasive power on earth is the unconditional love of God. Dad understood he could never manufacture in his own power this unconditional love. He had to turn his eyes on Jesus. He viewed his life as a vessel for God’s love to pour out. He knew his life had to be empty of bitterness, self-absorption, anxiety, greed, etc… Dad knew he couldn’t empty these things out of his life without God, and he knew he couldn’t fill his heart with this unconditional love without God. Dad was magnanimous at love because he spent so much time in prayer and gratitude with the source of ultimate love.
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” – 2 Timothy 2:20-21