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We are called to love each other as Christ has loved us. And he came full of grace and truth, which means our love should reflect the same.

To be sure, love is patient and kind. But this doesn’t mean it’s always warm and fuzzy. Sometimes love requires us to speak hard truths because it’s not kind to deny reality otherwise. But the hard realities of truth should never be offered without the soft edge of grace leading the way.

For instance, it’s not loving to simply allow our kids to do whatever they want. Part of our sacred duty as parents is to train, instruct, and provide the necessary discipline for them to grow towards God’s best. But this is not permission to be harsh or overly demanding of them. Part of love still calls us to deal gently with them – extending much grace and compassion as they learn and grow.

And this holds true throughout our life and relationships.

For example, love is not just concerned about keeping our wife happy, and it’s willing to have the hard conversations necessary to advance her good. But we don’t get to crush her spirit in the process. Without shying away from the truth, our words must be fully seasoned with grace as we seek to build her up.

Likewise, loving our neighbor doesn’t require us to condone their sin. But, like Jesus, perhaps we can graciously share a meal all the same.

Whatever it looks like, to love as we’ve been loved requires us to engage in this dance of grace and truth. And what follows is not love when both are not present.

In the end, love others as Christ has loved you by being full of grace and truth. This is the only way to truly make an impact for good.

Photo by Constantin Mutaf on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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