I could count on one hand the friends I’d made in my new town. I hadn’t had the chance to do much socializing, and it was starting to wear me down. I loved my job, my new husband, and our house, but I was struggling to make this new community home. That is, until our pastor and his wife invited us over for dinner.
We enjoyed a delicious meal with their family, along with two other young couples. It was invigorating to sit around a table and enjoy good food while talking and laughing with good people. I left that evening feeling refreshed, as though I’d been with long-time friends. The friends I’d so desperately hoped for had been dropped in my lap.
That dinner became a tradition, with the numbers of attendees growing as our church grew, and those people became dear and trusted friends. We still get together to share food and laughs, as well as our struggles and journeys of faith. There’s a culture of love among us, and we’re there for one another in all seasons of life.
In his message, “Walking in Love,” Dr. Stanley makes it clear that being people of love is a lifestyle. Our behavior, attitude, speech, and actions must exude love if we’re to look like our Savior—and not only when it’s convenient for us. We find these instructions written out quite explicitly in Scripture: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
I have come to see what this looks like—to walk in love—by walking in friendship with this group of people. When new babies are born, we share food. When health issues arise, we cover one another in prayer. When financial struggles come up, we do what we can to help. We have fun with each other’s children, play games together, study Scripture, and hold one another up when times get tough.
Walking in love looks a lot like living life well with a group of people you care for, being consistent, caring, and compassionate. As Dr. Stanley reminds us, all those who have Christ living within them are indwelt by His love. We, therefore, have the capacity to love others as He does and to do it with excellence. May we always strive to live as Christ would have us, and to imitate Him in all things. After all, His love for mankind changed the world, and our love for one another will certainly make it a more beautiful place to live.
Dr. Stanley teaches us the importance of being imitators of God in his message, “Walking in Love,” which airs today on radio.