InPursuit

A Culture of Love {Book Club Thursdays}

We’re reading through  Sally and Sarah Clarkson’s new book, The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming (affil. link).

For your convenience, all the posts in the series will be archived {here}. So if you miss any, feel free to head on over here to catch up. Or, to make life even easier,  subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter and receive all book club posts directly to your email.

Chapter 6: A Culture of Love, Growing Lifelong Relationships (Sally)

It was rather silly and romantic of me, yet I knelt on my canopy bed anyway. Laying against the window sill I’d look out into the quiet of the night, up at the shining stars. I’d whisper what every little girl whispers, “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have that wish I wish tonight…” And I’d wish for the day when I’d meet my prince charming–the day when, together, we’d have our own little family.

I suppose that’s what dreams are made of when you’re raised in a single-parent home. You sense something’s missing. You imagine a world where that missing space is filled to overflow–abounding love and comfort spilling over.

Daddy-sized holes are hard to fill. They’re hard to make sense of. You’re not even sure what’s missing until God, the Father, begins to fill them. Only then do you realize your longing for love. He begins to satiate a hunger you didn’t know you had–one that left you scavenging and foraging in the darkest, emptiest places.

This week’s chapter reminded me of a long, extended journey I’ve been on over the years. I’ve had to learn to let love idols come crashing down all around me, while leaning into Jesus that I might learn from Him what healthy, pure, unadulterated love looks like.

Growing lifelong relationships hasn’t been easy. Learning tangible expressions of God’s love and keeping the etchings of His heart on mine have begun this journey towards a culture of love in my life. I wish I could say it’s been easy. I wish I could say it comes natural to me. Yet, the closest truth I can manage in words is this: it’s been a broken-beautiful road.

Sally shares that we’re created to love.

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You’ll find many sweet stories of what this looks like in the Clarkson family: good manners, respect, honor, viewing others with esteem, verbalizing gratitude, greeting others with a smile, serving and helping, being dependable, developing integrity, learning to be a peacemaker, using words of affirmation, learning to say “I’m sorry”, celebrating with each other, and so much more.

This can be a difficult thing for those of us who’ve found ourselves hurt in relationships or living in split families. Yet, we’re wired for love and our failed attempts at it cannot negate this truth. Rather, it challenges us to lean into the love of Christ, to bask in its beauty, and then to pour out of the overflow.

So, go ahead.Whether it comes natural to you, or not. Whether like me, you’ve had to learn what receiving and giving love looks like…

I challenge you to learn from others who’ve gone before you. Take what’s fit and useful for your life without resentment of what couldn’t or hasn’t been for you. Ultimately, creating a culture of love begins with loving Christ and allowing His love to flow through you. It might look a little different for your family/home than it has for Sally, but the truth of it all remains the same: a culture of love makes room for building relationships.

I leave you with these words from Sally:

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As always, remember that creating a life-giving home is doable. Grab yourself a copy of this book. You will not be disappointed. As a matter of fact, I daresay you will leave each chapter with a renewed sense of vision and a resolve to create a place of belonging and becoming in your home, too!

A Culture of Love.. what does that look like for you? Let’s talk about it (feel free to do so in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or privately). Then meet me here next week when we’ll continue talking about the art of the ordinary, finding beauty in your own backyard.

*unless otherwise noted, all quotes are by Sally Clarkson.

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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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