By Lewis Richerson, Ph.D., Lead Pastor of Woodlawn Baptist Church
This was not a normal announcement. My wife walked into my office on a night in November 2018 and exclaimed, “I have some news! We are going to have a baby…in December!” I had been through several birth announcements before, however, this announcement made me look back down at my desk and continue my work. I knew there was no way my wife was going to go from having no signs she was pregnant to delivering a baby in less than two months. Well, little did I recognize, my wife was not joking and we were going to have a baby in December, just not in the way we had experienced in the past.
My wife had just received a phone call from a friend about a young lady who was due to deliver in December. This young mother was seeking adoption. My wife had come to my office to ask, “What do you think about this?” For both of us, it was an immediate, “Yes!” Why?
The answer to this question strikes at the heart of the foundation of “What makes a good faith family?” Jesus, the founder of the Christian faith, said it best, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” This was to be the evidence that showed others that one was a follower of Christ.
Writing 20 years after Jesus, the Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13, not as a statement to be read at a wedding, but as a statement that should summarize every faith community. Love compels us to act in ways that are contrary to our nature and desires. Jesus serves as the greatest example of this radical idea of love: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Find a faith community that is identified by love and there you will find a community of people who radically gives, cares, serves, sacrifices, and is committed to one another. After all, this is what Jesus has done for us! There are other important marks: expositional preaching, evangelism, discipleship, regenerate church membership, etc. However, none of these other marks matter if we do not have love. ■