My son gives fantastic hugs. I think this is an exceptional quality in a high school guy, but it’s true. What I like about his hugs is that they aren’t lightning-quick. Instead, he hugs me long enough to slow me down. After a hug like that, I feel more settled in myself. I’m calmer, I’ve relaxed. I feel more connected to myself and to him.

More and more, I’m becoming convinced of the importance of being fully present. I’m learning to pay attention to the moment in which I find myself. This paying attention happens with all of me, with my heart and soul and mind. For an easily distractible person like me, this practice takes quite a bit of discipline and intentionality. It does not come naturally for me to do anything with all my heart, soul, and mind. My standard mode of operation is to do things with part of my heart, part of my soul, and part of my mind. When left to my own devices, I can live a divided life.

I love Matthew 22:36–40, and I imagine that many of you, like me, have read it many times. What I’m noticing about this passage right now is that Jesus repeated the word all three times in one sentence:

Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
— Matthew 22:36–40

The paradoxical fact is that loving God with all my heart and all my soul and all my mind doesn’t divide me. Quite the opposite, it empowers me to love others more fully. I think this is because when I am grounded in God’s love, when it stands as the rock-solid foundation for how I’m living, the Spirit supernaturally enables me.

So, whether you are single or married, I encourage you to spend time loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind today — and every day — and watch it transform your relationships, moment by moment!

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