If love is going to permeate the family setting, "intentionality" is key! so is a "full tank" (or at least a "reserve tank").
I'm convinced that we can't give something we don't have. Much of our discussion focused on "how." "How" in the world do we love so ridiculously! Our head is all for it, not one of us claimed pursuing a life that loved ridiculously to be a complete & utter waste of one's time. So, though our vote's unanimous, we repeatedly shared that our end result often times seems "shoddy" at best.
The question seems to be then, how do we go from desiring it to living it?
Here's some thoughts:
I recently came across one person's perspective on life & prayer (actually posted it on FB, haha). His advice was to "put your shoes way under the bed at night so you 'gotta' get on your knees in the morning." :)
What's prayer have to do with love? EVERYTHING! If God is love (& He is - see 1 Jn. 4:8) then the more we know Him, & the more we spend time w/Him, the more we begin to understand, first of all, what real love even is. He tells us often, in many different ways throughout Scripture, that "He is the Vine and we are the branches...and apart from Him we can nothing!" (John 15:5; Zech. 4:6, etc.) So, we can begin by asking Him to teach us how to love. Ask Him to cash in "our" perspective for His, so that we begin to see our family thru God's lenses (the way He does).
But, also remember, that it's HIS LOVE FOR US that compels us (2 Cor. 5:14). The more real "all He did on our behalf" becomes (while we behaved so unloving in return), the more we begin to comprehend His kind of love (that self-sacrificing, dying to self kind of love) - that's our power source for loving others. The more we truly know how much we're loved by the One who loves so completely, so extravagantly, so perfectly...and live from that place, the more our lives will begin to be defined as lives that are "living loved."
Another good place to see and remember God's love in action is every Sunday at the Lord's Supper (communion), remembering that in Biblical times "to dine at the king's table was an honor of the highest kind. It was an expression of great grace, of loving provision, and of merciful protection." How much more so as we "dine" by invitation every Sunday with the One True King.
Ephesians 5 tells us to "be imitators of God...and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us. It's the self-less Jesus kind of love that denies oneself, losing one's life or laying it down for the sake of another. It's counter-cultural to all we see around us. The world has worked at defining life and love and we have bought into everything it's taught us. But the world has gotten it not only wrong, but backwards. It will take a conscious effort of sitting at the feet of Jesus in relation to life and love. Allowing Him to undo, re-define, re-teach both life AND love as God intended it to be. If your way of doing things looks a lot like the rest of the world, there's a pretty good chance you're still living the "old" way.
So, definitely, intentionality is absolutely key! And the Holy Habit of Examination is a great place for us to start (see "Ridiculous: Living Like Christ in a Loved Starved World" by Mike Baker, J.K. Jones, & Jim Probst, pp.44-45).
The following quote really defines our striving for a life that genuinely loves vs one that just talks about it: "every day we live what we believe, the rest is just 'religious talk.'" :)
Thanks for the opportunity to reflect with you...i grow every time i take the time to stop & be still before Him (and then attempt to put it into words)