real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

the “blanket” commands

When our son, Will, was a baby, he took his yellow “nee nee” everywhere he went, to the grocery store, to grandma’s house, when he went to the park, and, of course, to bed with him during naps and at night.  I am convinced that the only way we were able to travel across country, all through Washington D. C., and home again with a 1 year old is because the “nee nee” came along, too.  There is just something reassuring about a cozy blanket, even when you are nearly 5 and all that is left of it is the silk binding, held together by a few yellow tufts of fabric.  The comfort of that blanket saw Will through many a stormy time as it did the rest of us who shared his woes.

I have discussed the “nurturing” commands and the “iron sharpening iron” commands and today I want to discuss the third category of “one anothers” I have identified as they apply to the relationship between husbands and wives.  I refer to these as the “blanket” commands because they cover all the other commands and bring warmth and comfort to the relationship shared by a husband and a wife.  The “blanket” commands are all the verses that say “love one another” and can be found in these passages:

Love one another (John 13:34)

Love one another (John 13:35)

Love one another (Romans 13:8)

Love one another (1 Peter 1:22)

Love one another (1 John 3:11)

Love one another (1 John 3:23)

Love one another (1 John 4:7)

Love one another (1 John 4:11)

Love one another (1 John 4:12)

Love one another (2 John 1:5)

The Greek word for “love” chosen for all these passages is “agape” which means love in the social or moral sense or “put into action” sense.  However, it is more easily understood if you look at 1 Peter 1:22 that says “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. “ In that verse, the first word for love is not “agape” but “philadelphia” and it means brotherly love and affection or kindness to the brethren.  Peter is telling us that now that we are Christians, we not only have brotherly love toward one another, but a deeper, Christian love, a sacrificial love,the kind of love that Christ has for us. 

The unsaved world cannot understand the intensity with which Christians are to love one another and I believe it is this sort of intense love, this “agape” love, this love in action, that provides the blanket or cover or comfort for a husband and wife in their relationship.  Peter tells us that the way to have this love for one another is by purifying ourselves so that we are able to obey the truth.  A close personal walk with Christ is the key to being able to love in this manner.  This means that we are unable to properly employ the “nurturing” commands or the “iron sharpening iron” commands unless we cover over every aspect of our relationship with Biblical love.  1 Corinthians 13 provides us with the definition we need of love, a picture of what the blanket commands look like as they are acted out in day to day life, as they become the fruit of God’s grace in our lives. 

“ If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Copyright 2007


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