He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him,
I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Colossians 1: 15-20 NASB95
I sent an instant message to my daughter late last night, simply saying, "I love you Boo." She responded, quickly, "I love you too, daddy." A few hours earlier, I gave my youngest daughter a hug and said, "I love you too," when she said, "Love you daddy, night"... I tell my wife that I love her every night. I tell my own dad and mom that I love them when I say goodbye on the phone. I even tell my close friends I love them when the opportunity is there and the context demands it. Love is a part of my life, naïvely so at times, but yet a very important part of my life.
Indeed, I've come to realize that "love" holds my family together. Blood might be thicker than water, but love - the selfless concern for the other - trumps even blood. I would die for those whom I love. A 'heady' statement, I know, but that's the "end" of love. In other words, when it comes right down to it, to love someone is a surrender of self. It's a willingness to sacrifice self for the sake of the other. Paul says this in so many words in Galatians 2:20. We sacrifice either portions of our lives or even forfeit our lives for love of the other. Parents do this all the time for their children. They forfeit elements of their own lives so that their children might have life. Spouses do this for each other and so do friends.
I quoted the passage from Colossians above, because it tells us that our very world, the cosmic creation if you will, is held together by love. 1 John 4 tells us that God is love and that you and I were created for love. This Colossians passage tells us that our whole existence is bound up in love - for indeed, Jesus is the essence of God's love. John 3:16 - for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son... God's love is that rich and that deep. God is love. His love, Jesus, not only ransomed the universe from captivity to sin and death, but even holds that same universe together! I am captive to this love. More and more each day I see the crucial need for this love.
So I will never withhold love from my family. It is the bond that holds us together. I will not withhold love from my church or my friends. It is how they know care and hope. I will love those who seem unloveable, why? Because they are precisely the ones that God loves, for the world in which they live is hopeless and seemingly devoid of love. But it is not. We need to be love. We need to be love for and to each other. That's God's plan to change the world and that is my plan to strengthen my family. love.