The Limitless Capacity to Love

“Jesus said love everyone….” Seriously? Everyone? I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I have that type of emotional bandwidth. However, I am beginning to understand that it is within the realm of possibility.

Allow me to explain, using personal references.

Back in 1986, I fell in love with my Chrissie. It was new, amazing, exciting and all-encompassing. My heart was full. I figured it was full to capacity.

But then…

Our first baby was born, and she stole my heart. How was it possible to find room in my heart for that little girl when it was completely full?

My heart grew 3 sizes that day…

I don’t know if anyone else experienced what I did when we had our second baby. I was nervous. Not that I worried if the baby would be okay, but I was truly nervous if I would be able to love this new baby boy as much as I loved his mom and sister.

Then he was born, and my heart grew again. It was simple, and amazing to me. Third, fourth, fifth children joined the family. I no longer feared my capacity to love them.

What was once 2 became 7.

Each time the capacity of my heart grew to envelope them as well. I look back at my naive worries that I would not have the capacity to love them all and realize I just didn’t know what was possible. The heart is very elastic. It can stretch and grow to amazing capacity, but it is something that has to be lived, not just theorized.

What was was 7 is now 19.

Amazingly, I love each and every one of them. (And to think I was worried if I could love more than one kid!)

The latest addition, my granddaughter Juniper not only expanded my heart, she melted it.

She is the latest person to take up residence in my heart, along with so many others. Who would have thought it was possible?

When we talk about the Savior loving everyone, it seems fantastical. But I do know that my life trajectory helps me to understand how it is possible. My capacity to love has grown exponentially over the years, and has extended far beyond the family that I know. It includes friends, people I have served and served with, and family that has gone before.

Tomorrow marks 24 years since my mom passed. The love I have towards her, and others who have gone before, fills my heart as well. Even ancestors whom I have never met seem to keep finding their way in. (Insert plug for family history here.)

When I reflect on these things, I begin to get a glimpse of what words like infinite and unconditional mean. God has granted us the ability and capacity to love bigger, stronger and more universal than we ever consider.

As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph. 3:17-19)

Can I comprehend the breadth, length and depth of Christ’s love? No, not yet – it, but I can get a small glimpse of how it can be as I think of the people who have expanded and taken residence in my ever-expanding heart.

With time, these limits can become limitless. Intriguing.


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  1. I understand – 4 children and their spouses, 16 grandchildren with a few spouses thrown in, and now nearly 14 great-grandchildren. It just keeps getting better.

  2. Exactly! I once heard that you don’t divide your love amongst your kids, you MULTIPLY it! That was probably the second most profound thing I learned as a young adult, and the most important tenet I practiced as a parent. Thank you for sharing this beautiful message.

  3. Ohhhh, what an absolutely beautiful story. How many definitions of love are there? The Lord has given us the ability to love, regardless of who, why, or where. As you said, the elasticity of our hearts is infinite. What a joy love is to our lives.

  4. Two thumbs up for a great Sunday read!
    Ps. I love my family more than life.

  5. You described exactly what happened at the birth of each of my first 2 children. Also after the first 2, I no longer had the fear of could I love the next one like the first 2. It’s so cool how God has made us with this infinite capacity to love if we’ll just open our hearts.

  6. I absolutely love this post and the truth of which it speaks. Perfect beginning to December Brad. Today in fast and testimony, a young seminary student got up and bore his testimony. He said this past week the teacher had asked the class what is God, who is God? And then he shared that in Scriptures it says God is LOVE. I remember when my youngest son’s wife talked about her first child she said “I can’t imagine ever loving one as much as Whitney “ and I said your heart will expand and you will love the next child. That next child just took out her endowments yesterday and will be leaving for Paraguay to serve a mission in January. What a blessing that our hearts can expand with love for others. I love your family Brad and we haven’t even met in person.

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