Mr. & Mrs. Beaver:
Our family's guiding definition of love is, of course, drawn from Scripture. But we also appreciate the way that Paul David Tripp unpacks the God's word in ways that help us really grasp God's vision for love. He pulls from many Scripture passages in coming up with a summary definition as follows:
"Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving...
"Love calls you beyond the borders of your own wants, needs, and feelings. Love calls you to be willing to invest time, energy, money, resources, personal ability, and gifts for the good of another. Love calls you to lay down your life in ways that are concrete and specific. Love calls you to serve, to wait, to give, to suffer, to forgive, and to do all these things again and again. (Emphasis ours)
"Love calls you to be silent when you want to speak, and to speak when you would like to be silent. Love calls you to act when you would really like to wait, and to wait when you would really like to act. Love calls you to stop when you really want to continue, and it calls you to continue when you feel like stopping...Love again and again calls you away from your instincts and your comfort. Love requires personal sacrifice. Love calls you to give up your life." What Did You Expect??: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, pg. 188Although Tripp's book is intended to help couples grasp God's ways in marriage, the same concepts apply to all our interactions as a family. After all, where better to love than within the family?
So, as we prepare to enlarge our family again through adoption, this reminder from Tripp's marriage book is also helping us to prepare our hearts for the sacrificial kind of love that makes adoption... and family in general... work. It's the kind of love that makes adoption work, even when the world says it's impossible. It's the kind of love that makes adoption work, even when the world says it's too scary. It's the kind of love that makes adoption work, even when we're too exhausted to answer another question or wipe another messy face or solve another sibling conflict. It's the kind of love that only He can raise up in our hearts.