As a renowned marriage and family expert, Dr. Gary Chapman has done
his fair share of studying, teaching and writing about loving one
When he leads a seminar at the Billy Graham Training
Center at The Cove July 29-31, he will address that topic. But he will
address the topic in light of the greatest commandment: to love God.
says that before we can effectively love one another, we must have a
genuine love for God. He first loved us, and He demonstrated that love
by giving His son to die on the cross, so our love for Him is a
“After we understand what God has done for us, we
can’t help but say, ‘Yes, I want to love Him,’” explains Chapman. “Then
when we have responded to God by loving Him back, we can then be agents
of His love to other people.”
Loving people can do more than
minister to those who already know Christ; it can draw nonbelievers to
Him. When we have good relationships, we can be God’s instruments in
helping others follow Christ. When we have poor relationships, we become
“Let’s face it, there is a lot of hostility
in the world. It seems like everyone is against everyone. If we are
called to be representatives of Christ, leading people to reconciliation
with Him, love is our most powerful vehicle,” explained Chapman.
command is clear that we are to make disciples throughout the world,” he continued. “So,
what is our method? To love and show concern for other people and their
well-being. If they can see in us this same attitude and lifestyle as
Christ, they can be drawn to us, and we can point them to Him.”
aspect of human and heavenly relationships that Dr. Chapman will cover
is how to deal effectively with our failures. Attendees will learn how
to move past failures and remove barriers between themselves and those
they have offended.
“None of us are perfect channels of God’s
love,” Chapman said. “Sometimes we lose our temper and we say things or
do things that are not Christ-like, and that can drive people away from
Him. The bottom line is we have to apologize and seek the forgiveness
of the person we’ve offended, regardless of their spiritual status. To
show love, we need to be authentic and honest. We should seek
forgiveness from others as we have sought forgiveness from God.”
This kind of love—for God and for others—does not come natural to us, as humans.
reality is that we can’t do that apart from the help, the power or the
ministry of the Holy Spirit,” Chapman said. “We need divine help on a
Used with permission from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.