Labor, by definition, is hard. It can be exhausting, uncomfortable, even painful at times. So why do we do it? There are many possible motivations for labor, but the greatest is love. And the interesting thing about a labor of love is that it leads to more love. When we put loving effort into something, it becomes more meaningful to us. Whether we’re preparing a meal, a handwritten card, or a little homespun work of art, we care more about the things we make when we care about the person for whom we’re making them. The labor and the love become intertwined, and somehow, we weave a little part of ourselves into our creations.
The same is true of our relationships. When we work hard to understand, connect with, and love someone, we forge a bond that is not easily broken. In the end, the people we labor over most, we love the most. This truth is most obvious in parents who feed, clothe, hold, soothe, and tirelessly care for their helpless infant. In the fire of their sacrifices, they forge an unbreakable bond, strong enough to withstand the stresses and pulls that come as the children grow. And they need those strong bonds, because as any parent of teenagers knows, the late nights, the early mornings, and the need for support and soothing and sacrifice don’t stop even when children become more independent. But through it all, parents and teens continue to weld lasting links of love.
Likewise, a marriage relationship is surely a labor of love. Falling in love is a nice start. But you don’t just “fall” into an enduring marriage. You grow into it—together. It requires a husband and wife to make heartfelt efforts to nurture their relationship, to resolve differences, to understand each other—to do the labor that builds love.
Perhaps our most important labor of love is our relationship with God. He invites, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Our holy effort, imperfect though it may be, to do what the Lord asks of us not only demonstrates our love for Him—it also opens the way to receive more of His perfect love. Labor that is motivated by love always leads to more love.
September 05, 2021
Broadcast Number 4,799
The Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Let All the World in Every Corner Sing
Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
F.A. Challinor; arr. Ryan Murphy
Achieved Is the Glorious Work, from The Creation
Franz Joseph Haydn
Prelude on “Middlebury”
I Whistle a Happy Tune, from The King and I
Richard Rodgers; arr. Sam Cardon
I’m Runnin’ On
African-American Spiritual; arr. Mack Wilberg
Thou Gracious God, Whose Mercy Lends
English melody; arr. Mack Wilberg