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Love, God’s way, knows no bounds. It breaks down walls, personally and systemically. It changes lives.

Love is powerful.

It is the right way to start the school year.

I am thankful for the three reminders below of the power of love for the beginning of the school year. Sometimes in the middle of the details, it is easy to look at the papers and programs and not look in the faces of the children.

Here are three encouragements to love that popped up the last couple of days. Strong reminders to me.

One, Pernille Ripp’s letter from her principal who says, “You can inspire them to take risks. You can encourage them when they are ready to give up. You can help them to see something within themselves they cannot yet see. You can expose them to new possibilities. You can help them turn mistakes into opportunities. But most importantly,you can show them you love and care for them.”

Second, Simon Jeynes wrote a LinkedIn post, “Love Your Students This Year!”: “And I ask you to do the same. Love your students this year.”

And, my richest reminder came from my friend, Danny. His school (which for the sake of full disclosure was my former school!) just had their back to school evening with parents. Danny wrote to tell me that the high school teachers were reminded to use the ideas from The Three Loves and to share with parents how they love God, love students, and love their subjects.

No one loves students more than Danny. Or, God. Or, his subject. But, Danny made a special point last night to trim his part talking about the subject and to make sure parents know his love and care for students.

He said, “Well, the reaction…was stunning. I’ve never quite experienced anything like it.”

My friends, love, God’s way is powerful. It changes lives. It is what parents want from us. But, even more it is what every student needs. Not to the the exclusion of learning, but as the foundation for it.

Please make sure that students are loved. And, that they know you love them by real words and actions, doing what is best for them, as God does for us. With sacrifice. Unconditionally.

Our world is full of conditional, earned love. Or, distortions of love as only feeling and fleeting as the moments change. Students need to know and feel they are loved. That someone is committed to the absolute best for each one of them.

Love, God’s way—the way that lets God give His son as in John 3:16—that love changes people. And, the world.

God bless you as you love students this year. Because He first loved us.