“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
We love God.
We are Jesus people. All other labels, traditions, and denominations are not as important as our mutual love for Jesus Christ. We proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord. He died for our sins and rose again to give us a new life on earth and eternity in heaven. In response, we submit ourselves to Him because we trust Him. We intentionally seek to know God more intimately through bible reading, prayer, and worship. We listen to the Holy Spirit's wisdom and conviction. We set aside our own selfish desires and move forward on the path God has laid out for us because we trust that His ways are best.
We love ourselves.
We believe that God created us in His image and that He loves us unconditionally. We need no other reasons to love ourselves. We also know that God created us each uniquely and equally. We are unique in our talents, abilities, and calling; we are equal in value and importance as a member of the body of Christ. Therefore, envy and comparison have no place in our hearts. As members of the body, we desire to take care of ourselves spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When we are at our best, we make the greatest impact. This is honoring to God and to the other members of the body. We do everything in our power to live at peace with God, ourselves, and others.
We love our families.
Our families are our greatest gifts, entrusted to us from God for His glory. As mothers, our homes are our mission fields. We keep our priorities in focus: God, husband, children. We know that what we lack, God has in abundance. Therefore, we make daily time with God so that He may strengthen our weakness and fill us with the love, grace, and wisdom we need for our husbands and children. We make our marriages a priority, understanding that unity between a husband and wife benefit our homes and the kingdom of God. We humbly accept the responsibility to shepherd our children's hearts so that they may bring glory to God and enjoy Him forever.
We love our sisters in Christ.
Feelings of envy have no place in our hearts. We maintain our focus on serving God, our families, and our communities, rather than comparing ourselves to the women around us. We are uniquely made, gifted, and called. We set our differences aside in order to focus on our mutual love for Jesus and our shared commission to be lights in a dark world. We always speak the truth in love, never judgement. We are raving fans in public, and honest critics in private. We speak love, life, and encouragement into our sisters' lives. We pray for them. We listen to them. We support them. We believe in them even when they cannot believe in themselves.
Above all else, we love others. We hate sin, but we always love the sinner. We believe that tough truths should be spoken privately to people in person, never addressed publicly. We regularly evaluate our own motives, beliefs, and judgments. We always seek grace, mercy, and restoration. We never lower ourselves to shaming, bullying, and condemning. We trust God to be the lawgiver and judge. We understand that hate hurts but love heals. We bring light to the darkness, healing to the hurt, restoration to the broken, and direction to the lost. We do nothing in selfish ambition or vain conceit. We value others above ourselves. In all things, we point people back to the love of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
All my love,