Icon = a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something.
Every relationship in your life is to be an “icon” of the relationship between Jesus and His beloved bride, the church. The way you love others is to reflect the way Jesus loves you. Our love, like the love of Jesus, is to be sacrificial, unconditional and incarnational. We’re to give up our own self-love. We’re to love others no matter what. We’re to care for the physical well-being of all those around us.
I often refer to the three aspects of love (sacrificial, unconditional and incarnational) as the “marriage triangle.” When these three aspects of love are all present in equal measure, it fulfills the command for marriage as prescribed in Gen. 2:24, “Therefore a man will leave his father and mother (sacrificial), hold fast to his wife (unconditional), and the two will become one flesh (incarnational).” Jesus shows all three of these aspects of love to us perfectly. He is the perfect husband. We are His blessed bride. His “marriage triangle” is the perfect model for us to follow.
Now, every day in all our relationships, we’re to be creating “miniature marriage triangles.” Our relationships should be marked by sacrificial, unconditional and incarnational love that reflects this love of Jesus. Our “miniature marriage triangles,” then, are “icons” of Jesus’ love. Such icons of Jesus appear when sacrificial, unconditional and incarnational love is evident between…
parents & children
children & parents
brothers & sisters
pastors & congregations
church members & church members
Christians & the world
Such a perspective on our relationships keeps it simple and memorable. We don’t have to create something new in every relational context. We don’t have to figure out the new dynamics of how to love the new people we meet. Every relationship is to be an icon of Jesus and His relationship to us. Love that is sacrificial, unconditional and incarnational is what is required in every relationship. The more we receive such perfect love from Jesus, the more we’re able to reflect that love in all our relationships.
Keep your “thumb up” to Jesus and His perfect love for you. His love is the perfect “marriage triangle.”
As you relate to all the people in your life, reflect that “marriage triangle.” May ALL our relationships be “icons” of Jesus and His love.