How This Month’s Virtue Helps You Lead Your Family
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
This month, our virtue is Faithful Follower — the most important of all our virtues. Faithful Followers know they are loved by God, and they respond by following God’s commands to love God and love others. In other words, this virtue gives us the purpose and power to live out all of the other virtues as parents, families, and individuals.
“… because he first loved us…”
Think about it: We do our worst parenting when we are worried, afraid, tired, or stressed out. It’s hard to love others when we are not confident that we are loved. And in the same way, our sons can’t live out the other virtues until they know the love of God.
If we are always trying to earn our children’s affection, we won’t be able to tell them “no” when that’s what they need to hear. If we are always trying to prove ourselves, we won’t be able to put our children’s needs above our reputations. If we feel like no one else is looking out for our needs, we won’t be able to gladly sacrifice those needs to serve our children.
But God does love you. You don’t have to earn his affection, prove yourself to him, or double-check that he knows what you need.
Do you know how well loved you are?
The Bible tells us that we are loved more than we can possibly imagine. When Jesus died for our sins on the cross, he gave us an unimaginable and eternal future with him (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Yet sometimes God’s love is hard to understand. It’s hard to take the time to fill up with the truth of God’s Word when we fill our lives with so much other stuff. We need to take time to examine who God is, why he sent his son, and how that impacts not just our lives, but today and the moments we are given.
Do you feel like you don’t deserve God’s love sometimes?
We must not allow ourselves to be tricked into thinking we are not loved because we feel like we don’t deserve it. The Bible tells about countless people who did not deserve God’s love but who received it all the same. And the Bible tells us that our actions and history have nothing to do with the unearned love God gives us through his Son Jesus.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
Love has a name, and it is Jesus.
There is a fabulous song by this same title by Jesus Culture, and the lyrics are incredibly encouraging. Here is a sample of the lyrics:
There’s a joy that triumphs over fear
There’s a laughter that wipes away all tears
There’s a presence that changes atmospheres
There’s a name
We will fix our eyes on the One who overcame
We will stand in awe of the One who breaks the chains
Love has a name
Love has a name
Knowing this truth gives us the purpose and the power to love our children well.
It’s no accident that we also celebrate Easter this month while we are learning what it means to be a Faithful Follower. There is no better way to be reminded of what God has done for us than by looking back to the work he did for us on the cross, in the grave, and through his resurrection. There is no better time to understand his love than now.
Here are some ideas to better understand the depth, cost, and impact of God’s love for you.
- As a morning devotion, read chapters 22–24 in the Gospel of Luke.
- Read or listen to the sermon “The Depth of Christ’s Love: Its Cost” by John Piper
- Go to church each Sunday from now through Easter. If you don’t usually go to church, ask someone who does if you could go with them. I know they would love to take you. If you don’t have anyone to ask, I’d be glad to help—just shoot me an email (my email address is below).
- Listen to “Love Has a Name” (Live at Red Rocks HD) by Jesus Culture, featuring Kim Walker-Smith
- Lead your family thought this month’s Faithful Follower virtue calendar. It is filled with reminders of God’s love and the miracle of the resurrection (though verses and songs) as it encourages us to be Faithful Followers.