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All You Need is Love

Does keeping the law make me a good husband? Hmmm, let’s see. I have never hit my wife or harmed her in any physical way (except for maybe that time I stepped on her foot while we were dancing). I’m doing well so far. I have never forced her to do anything she didn’t want to do. Score another one for me. Those are really the only laws I can think of that govern how a man must treat his wife. I’m sure there are more, but I have no idea what they are. So am I a good husband because I have kept those laws? Not necessarily. I could keep all these laws and more and still be a lousy husband.

As a husband, I live by a different law. I live by the law of love, a set of laws not written down on paper but written on my heart, not imposed with threats but imputed with grace. The law of love doesn’t give me a few minimum requirements so I can feel good about myself. The law of love requires much more from me than any law handed down by the local, state, or federal government. It requires that my motives be pure and that my heart be in it. Basically, it requires all of me.

This is also true in our Christian walk. God has exchanged His old covenant based on our keeping the law for a new covenant based on a relationship with Him through Jesus, who fulfilled the law for us (Matt. 5:17) and paid our outstanding debt (Col. 2:14). At last, God’s children can rest in the freedom of grace. Rest, however, is not the same as laziness. When we truly understand the grace Father has shown us, we are compelled toward gratitude and loving service, not toward laziness. God has given Christians a higher law: the law of love. God’s laws—which are now written on our hearts (Heb. 8:10)—can be summed up in a single word: Love.

Galatians 5: 13,14 says…
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Being a law abiding citizen does not make you a good spouse, a good friend, a good employee, or even a good church member. Love does.

1 Corinthians 13:3 agrees…
And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.