What can we learn about love?

Acts of Faith column

The City of Vancouver and our civic pride are still trying to recover from the damage done on June 15.

We shake our heads in disbelief when we see such violence, such self-centeredness, such blatant disregard for other people and their property.

What gives us hope, though, was the striking contrast of people who do care, like the police who put themselves in harm’s way, the selfless citizens who linked arms to protect an officer and the injured person he was rescuing, and the hundreds who showed up the next morning to clean up the mess.

What can we learn about love in the aftermath of a riot?

In April, I wrote about God’s love.

The Easter season is a vivid reminder of God’s unconditional love for all of us.

The command that Jesus gave us just before he went to the cross was “to love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

This month, I will focus on how we can live out God’s kind of love in our homes and on the streets of our community.

While our city officials consider how to react better to preserve the peace, you and I can take a more proactive, preventative approach.

Let’s work together to come up with some long-term solutions that just may influence the next generation to be more loving.

According to the Bible, loving other people is the most obvious sign of maturity.

1 Corinthians 13 is known as “the love chapter” and is frequently read at weddings.

But it’s too late to wait until marriage to learn how to truly love.

We need to start passing on the virtues of love to our young children:

Love is patient and kind.

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

Love does not demand its own way.

Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.

It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love will last forever. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Right after this passage the Apostle Paul writes, “when I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”  (vs. 11).

Let’s face it – babies and young children, as cute as they are, are really very self-centered.  Our job as parents, teachers, and concerned citizens is to teach the next generation how to grow up and genuinely care for others.

I invite our readers to email me at rbuzza@nrchurch.ca with their tried and proven ideas for teaching their children how to love.

Watch for your suggestions in print in the weeks ahead and let’s do our part to take love to the streets.

Rob Buzza is lead pastor at NorthRidge Church.