1 John 4:11 is a verse that’s incredibly simple to comprehend, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It has the potential to fundamentally change your relationships. It says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

The reason God (through John) gives us this command to love is because he cares about us. His command is an expression of his fatherly goodness.

God knows that loving one another is the most satisfying way to live. It’s the key to enjoying our relationships. If you have the love of God in you—the unique kind of self-giving love that’s commanded in this passage—it’s going to result in you relating to others in a totally different way than you otherwise would.

You’ll be able to love other people even when they make it difficult to love them. Because, guess what? The more you get to know someone, the more you discover that they’re a sinner just as much as you’re a sinner. They have flaws just like you have flaws.

That’s probably the most striking thing Becky and I discovered about each other during our first year of marriage. We discovered that both of us had issues, and those issues often made it difficult for us to relate to each other in a loving way.

But if you have God’s love in your heart, you’ll be able to keep loving people even when it’s difficult. You’ll even be able to keep loving them when they hurt you, wrong you, and do all kinds of things against you.

Obviously, depending on the circumstance, you might need to address those things in an appropriate way, but no matter what, you never stop loving that other person. You never stop seeking that person’s welfare.

That’s the kind of love Jesus demonstrated on the cross, and that’s the kind of love he enables us to have. And that kind of love will fundamentally change every relationship you have.