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Lead with Love

Josh Afram

Lead with Love

Sunday we got to speak about covenants. If I am being honest, I did not get to talk about half of the cool things I wanted to share. That is the nature of sermons. One of the things I wanted to add to Sunday’s sermon was the nature of conditional covenants (a promise between two parties that requires terms to be met). Conditional covenants were often used in accordance with land, possessions, status, or wealth.

For example, “If you obey me, I will give you the promised land. If you disobey, I will scatter you and allow you to be conquered.”

Conditional covenants are not bad. Parents make them all the time. The example we used in Sunday’s sermon was a parent holding their teen to a curfew.

“I will let you play video games if you finish your homework, but, if you don’t, then no Xbox for the weekend.”

Conditional covenants are necessary, but they make lousy promises as the core of a relationship. Imagine marriage vows that were worded conditionally:

“I promise to have and to hold…if you keep a full-time job.”

“In sickness and in health…unless you stop working out.”

“Til death do us part…except if…” 

“To be your loving and faithful spouse…as long as you root for the Bulls.”

See how horrible that sounds? Conditional covenants as the core of our relationships make us anxious, insecure, and skeptical. We cannot fully love someone when we believe their affection is based solely on performing a certain way.

Unconditional covenants mean that we will love someone regardless of their choices. Here is the rub though – that doesn’t mean choices have consequences! That parent still loves their student, even if they took away the video games. However, the question we all have to ask is, do the people you love most know that you are FOR them no matter the choices they make? Or do you tend to only show up when they do the things you agree with?

It is a brutal question. But the way of Jesus invites us to lead with love and let the rest fall into place.

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