The Bible Says Love Is A Skill
“Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15 HCSB)
Ramblings from Lacy’s dad – Growing up in the era of 3 t.v. stations, I spent a lot of time outside. We lived in the country and the only time I was inside was if the weather was too bad, or if I was too grounded!
When I was around 10, my dad put up a basketball goal. Back then our sports were baseball, football and basketball. Of those three, basketball was the easiest to practice by myself. So when no one was around to play baseball or football, I would spend hours with the basketball. I wasn’t good at it, but watched someone who was, the famous “Pistol Pete”. His moves, became my moves, perfecting them (at least in my own eyes) with a lot of practice. I worked hard on my lay ups, jump shots, and even a few trick shots. Dad would come home sometime and we would play a game of “horse”. I grew more confident and would challenge Tommy Lifsey from down the street, who was a good foot taller then me. I would play two on one against my cousins next door. I developed quite an appetite for playing the game and grew fearless.
Back then we didn’t have rec basketball. The only way to play on a team was through our high school. My monstrous 4’10” frame did not overly impress my 8th grade coach. My dominating 5′ 1″ height, from some reason didn’t excite the 9th grade coach either. Disappointed, I decided to focus on baseball, where they seemed to be more forgiving with those of us vertically challenged.
Thirty years later kids came along, and once again a basketball goal went up. It took a few times of dribbling the ball to remember how to do it. But little by little, I was surprised how it came back. The old patented jumper from the corner even returned! The kids were still young enough to be amazed at my razzle-dazzle. Over time they learned from watching me and spending time with me, and became competent enough to give me a run for it in a game of horse. 🙂
I guess love is kind of the same way. I didn’t wake up one day and instantly know how to love. It took looking at someone who was really good at it. Early on I watched my dad and the loving way he treated my mom, and emulated Him. Once I became a Christian, I started looking at the example Jesus was for us. I didn’t know how to love like Him, especially the unconditional part. But like basketball, the more I worked at it, the better and more comfortable I got with it. After a while it became more natural to me, like an easy layup shot started from the top of the key. Kris would tell you I am not perfect at it, but I do try and work on it daily.
From time to time we have friends come to us saying they no longer love their husband or wife. They ceased working at it years ago, and fell in to a rut of just being roommates. Kris will tell them that often, if they go through the motions, the feelings will follow their actions. I want to encourage those of you in that situation, to start going through the motions again. Its amazing how it can come back to you, if you just make the effort.
The great news is if you have turned your back on GOD and stopped loving Him, if you will simply make the effort and turn around, you will find HIM standing there…with outstretched arms, waiting on you!…
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:15-16 NIV)