“I thought I knew love as a child, and even as a young husband, but until I knew fatherhood, what it is to truly father a child, I did not understand the love our Father in Heaven feels for us. Then, as I served my children, and their beloved mother, I loved them all the more, and that abiding fatherly love extended to all the lives that touch theirs for good. With the capacity for love increasing, unwearied service to not only spouses and children, but to our fellow beings, that Christlike love, charity, can be extended to all mankind.”Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 21 October 2023
I have long loved being a father, and now grandfather. Although some of the duties of fatherhood at times be wearying, I never tire of loving my children. Even in days of disobedience or heartache, my love for my children never ceases, but ever increases. From that first glance of helpless trust and innocence in their eyes, my love was set, but then in serving and guiding these little ones through childhood and life that unconditional love grows exponential. With that growth in love, loving more becomes ever more feasible and unrestrained, as we serve beyond ourselves and our personal Zions in outreach to all the children of God within our influence.
Exponential love stirs desire to reach ever further, even unto the filling of the entire world. It does not weary in kind acts but is empowered by the same. It is love that begets love that begets love into forever. Love exponential is the pure love of Christ, true charity, love unwearied.
It is clear from the epistles of Paul the Apostle that he had an overwhelming love for his fellow saints and the children of God. Once he learned the pure love of Christ, charity, he embraced it and made it a part of his whole character. How did he do this other than committing wholly to serving and loving his fellow man? The truth is that as he put the needs of others before his own, love, perhaps even unconditional, became the product of his service.
In one of his letters to the Thessalonians Paul wrote, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). He indeed wanted for the saints, in their relationships one with another, to enjoy the same gifts and feelings of love and compassion, patience and charity, that he had found in Christ. Why would he want anything less for people who he loved so dearly?
It was well said of the love of Jesus Christ, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). While we are in no way called upon to offer the kind of love, or at least the offering of love, that could only be offered by Him, we may still sacrifice our lives, our time and our very hearts, for our friends. By looking beyond one another’s flaws, errors, and sins, and setting aside any desire to demand correction, revenge or justice, we can open the door to opportunity in service and forgiveness. With service and forgiveness comes charity and love and the desire for others to feel the same. When we wholly offer that level of service and forgiveness, love will prevail, and with consciences void of offense through Christ, we may be presented to our beloved Heavenly Father by He who loved and gave wholly.
Let us not be found with our hands reaching toward the gavel of justice in demands unworthy, but instead toward the olive branch of forgiveness, peace and mercy, healing hands of love and service. Let us be quick to forgive and slow to anger. Let us “be not weary in well doing” (2 Thessalonians 3:13), that we might establish love in our hearts that will overwhelm any contentious temptation. “To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). I love you, as Paul for the saints, and for us towards our children all. I wish unwearied love to abound with you, always. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.