John 13:34-35 (NKJV)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.�
Judas had left to go and betray Jesus. The other disciples were still with Jesus. Jesus in His authority gave the remaining disciples a new command that they were to pass on � they were to love one another as Jesus Himself had loved them. Jesus was soon to die and they needed their love for one another to sustain them through the difficult times ahead. They needed each other now more than ever.
In his book Dad the Family Coach, Dave Simmons describes the shape love took in the life of his daughter.
I took Helen (8-years-old) and Brandon (5-years-old) to the Cloverleaf Mall in Hattiesburg to do a little shopping. As we drove up, we spotted a Peterbilt 18-wheeler parked with a big sign on it that said "Petting Zoo." The kids jumped up in a rush and asked, "Daddy, can we go? Please. Please. Can we go?"
"Sure," I said, flipping them both a quarter before walking into Sears. They bolted away, and I felt free to take my time looking for a scroll saw. A petting zoo consists of a portable fence erected in the mall with about six inches of sawdust and a hundred little furry baby animals of all kinds. Kids pay their money and stay in the enclosure enraptured with the squirmy little critters while their moms and dads shop.
A few minutes later, I turned around and saw Helen walking along behind me. I was shocked to see she preferred the hardware department to the petting zoo. Recognizing my error, I bent down and asked her what was wrong.
She looked up at me with those giant, limpid, brown eyes and said sadly, "Well, Daddy, it cost 50 cents. So, I gave Brandon my quarter." Then she said the most beautiful thing I ever heard. She repeated the family motto. The family motto is, "Love is action!"
She had given Brandon her quarter, and no one loves cuddly furry creatures more than Helen. She had watched Sandy take my steak and say, "Love is action!" She had watched both of us do and say "Love is action!" for years around the house and Kings Arrow Ranch. She had heard and seen "Love is action," and now she had incorporated it into her little lifestyle. It had become part of her.
What do you think I did? Well, not what you might think. As soon as I finished my errands, I took Helen to the petting zoo. We stood by the fence and watched Brandon go crazy petting and feeding the animals. Helen stood with her hands and chin resting on the fence and just watched Brandon. I had 50 cents burning a hole in my pocket; I never offered it to Helen, and she never asked for it.
Because she knew the whole family motto. It�s not, "Love is action." It�s, "Love is sacrificial action!" Love always pays a price. Love always costs something. Love is expensive. When you love, benefits accrue to another�s account. Love is for you, not for me. Love gives; it doesn�t grab. Helen gave her quarter to Brandon and wanted to follow through with her lesson. She knew she had to taste the sacrifice. She wanted to experience that total family motto. Love is sacrificial action. [Dave Simmons, Dad the Family Coach (Victor Books, 1991), pp. 123, 124]