( [email protected] ) Sep 16, 2003 12:23 AM EDT

1 John 4:7-12 (NRSV)

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Jesus said, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another."

- John 13:34 (NRSV)

AS a child, I wanted my parents' love more than anything else in the world; however, they withheld their love, and I suffered abuse. By the time I became an adult, I carried in my heart a lot of resentment. Not until my father came down with acute leukemia did I make an effort to improve my relationship with him. Just before he died, he whispered, "I love you," words I had wanted to hear for decades.

With the death of my father came the responsibility of caring for my invalid mother. At first, caring for her was difficult because of my resentment; but as time passed, it became easier. Familiarity with Jesus Christ as Lord and teacher and with his act of washing his disciples' feet caused me to see caring for my mother as an act of Christian love. I cannot say that it was easy to serve and love my mother; but by God's grace, I reached out to her. She has responded to my kindness and has become a more loving person.

Prayer: God, keep us in your love so that we will love others, especially people who have hurt us. Amen.


Showing love is not always easy, but it is always the right thing to do.


Adults struggling to forgive childhood abuse