In 2021, my main goal is to let love be the primary motivation behind every action, word and thought. I hope you’ll join me in this endeavor.
Toward the beginning of each year, Jenni and I spend time together seeking the Lord about the year ahead. Last week we worked through a devotional exercise that asked a series of thought-provoking questions looking back and looking forward.
One of the questions was about habits or patterns you’d like to see changed in the year ahead. For me, the Lord revealed a much-needed shift: I want to live a love-driven life instead of a list-driven life.
Ruled By The List
I’m a driven individual. I gain much satisfaction from accomplishment, and I suffer much frustration when I feel I’m not getting enough done. And the truth is I never feel like I’m getting enough done.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with my task-oriented nature, I have come to realize that too much of my identity and self-worth is derived from whether I achieve all that I set out to and in the timeframe I expected to.
I have developed a habit of having much of my life and worth ruled by my to-do list. And that is something I’d like to change in 2021.
Ruled By Love
In 2021, instead of being ruled by my to-do list, I want to be ruled by love. God didn’t create me for what I could accomplish; he created me to love me and so I could be love to others around me.
What does it look like to live a life ruled by love? For me it looks like the following:
- To let love be the primary motive for all that I do.
- In my relationship with Jesus, to see myself as a lover more than a worker.
- To not let offense drive my attitude or decisions but let love be my guide.
- To let go of a need to perform for the approval of men, but to live in the approval of One.
- To prioritize my life around loving those whom God places in my life. This includes my family, friends, and those marriages he brings across my path.
- Most of all, I want:
A Marriage Ruled By Love
I especially want to see my marriage ruled by love.
What does it look like to have a marriage ruled by love? We have some great insight from the beginning of Paul’s chapter in Ephesians instructing us about how to do marriage according to the example of Christ and the church.
Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.Ephesians 5:1b-2 (MSG)
This year, more than ever, I want to be extravagant in my love for Jenni. I want to selflessly give myself to her, holding nothing back. I want to never stop discovering what love looks like to her and to think, act, and speak accordingly.
In short, I want to love her as Jesus loves me.
Will you join me in my endeavor to let 2021 be the year I learn to live my life ruled by love? What habits or tendencies might you need to leave behind in order for 2021 to be a year where you step more fully into love?