Parental Love As A Mirror To Divine Agape

In the timeless words, we’re urged to “love your neighbour as yourself”. Indeed, the definition of spiritual love is to will the good of the other from the other’s point of view. This call echoes a profound spiritual truth—love that goes beyond selfish interests, aiming for the genuine good of others. But the path of love is not without its puzzles, particularly when it comes to boundaries. How much love is too much? When does our well-intentioned love risk turning futile? These are not just questions; they’re a journey into understanding Christ’s command to love.

In the natural realm, the closest analogy to the spiritual, agape love we’re called to exhibit is parental love. Consider a mother caring for her child, even in the face of challenges. A sleepless night tending to a sick child, selflessly providing, and nurturing despite personal exhaustion. These actions mirror the sacrificial nature of agape love. Similarly, a father patiently guiding a child through the complexities of life, offering support, encouragement, and correction with unwavering commitment, reflects the divine love we’re encouraged to emulate. Parental love beautifully mirrors the selflessness and enduring nature of agape love.

Under normal circumstances, a parent would always choose what they perceive to be in the best interests of their children, often over their own self-interest. We should also learn to love others in this manner. You must learn to navigate this terrain, to grapple with finding the right balance—combining Christ’s selfless love with the practical wisdom required in our daily interactions. If you want to be picky, almost no one is worthy of your love. That is why it is a command rather than a suggestion. We are commanded to love one another as God first loved us.

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