"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Francis Schaeffer's dictate in Mark of the Christian, "Because a man is a man, he is to be loved at all cost." Christ gave love priority over all other Christian virtues. "This is the message you heard form the beginning: We should love one another" 1 John 3:11
Yet in the fast paced life we live, we have yet to learn how to fully love in all of it's pain and pleasure. C.S. Lewis wrote "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to be sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one - not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket or the coffin of your selfishness. But, in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, unredeemable. The only place outside heaven where you can be safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love, is hell."