Yesterday, I learnt about having a word for the year from some blog posts I read and decided to give it a try. As I prayed about it this morning, I felt a confirmation in my spirit that I should get on board the word train. You see, I am not a blind follower of anyone or anything, no matter how well promoted they are. I need to be certain that what I’m doing is what I should be doing now and not simply what everyone else is doing.

And before I could pray much, the word “love” was given to me. I am to love my husband, my “children”, my siblings, my in-laws, my extended family, my friends, my students, my brethren, my work colleagues, in fact, anyone that I have dealings with, more. I hesitated. My feeling was, “I’ve never done this before and I get to start with the big one.” I’d thought the word would be “completion” or “accomplishment” ’cause I have so much unfinished business that I am yet to address, my Ph.D on the top of that list.

But the Lord said He wants to teach me to love as He loves the church. That’s fantastic! But truth be told, it’s also scary. Even if as a believer, I’m not totally selfish, yet I see myself holding back from doing all that I can for people at certain times, that is, doing so much and no more. I rationalise what I do, hoping I’m not misunderstood, taken advantage of or despised. A few times, I’m more concerned about taking care of number one. Clearly, that is not how Christ loved the church as explained in Ephesians 5:25-27.

The Lord Jesus would have His followers love others as He loves the church. #Quotes Click To Tweet

“25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

What makes this so challenging is that we’re not talking about my immediate family and close friends alone. One does not need much convincing to love one’s spouse, children, parents and best friends sacrificially. But anyone you have dealings with? That does not sound wise or practicable. Yet, I think if the love were so selective, it would fall far short of the love of Christ as seen in Romans 5:8.


“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)

When our love is selective, it falls far short of the love of Christ. #Inspiration #Quotes Click To Tweet

There’s no way I’m going to be able to do this kind of thing without surplus grace.

Then I remember some scriptures I shared on Twitter lately.

@edithsmusings Dec. 21, 2016
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 (NKJV)

@edithsmusings Dec. 21, 2016
If you fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Love your neighbour as yourself, you do well. – James 2:8

@EdithOhaja1 Jan. 2, 2017
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant – 1 Corinthians 13:4 (ESV).

@EdithOhaja1 Jan. 2, 2017
Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. – Romans 13:10 (ESV)

Could God have been speaking to me to prepare my heart for this journey? Probably. (I know that whatever I post is as much for me as for anybody else.) And that gives me some thrills approximating lightheadedness (the positive kind).

I also recall the commanment the Lord Jesus gave in John 13:34. That should be the handiest as I have a little song about it I learnt many years ago that extends to the next verse.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” 

I’m under no illusions that this is going to be easy but armed with the word and all the foregoing scriptures to back it up, I’m excited to launch into the deep at the Saviour’s command.*

No one can love like Christ in their own strength but His grace makes it possible. #Quotes Click To Tweet

Now, I’m just going to print the graphic for this post, maybe as big as a poster to serve as a reminder. I’ll have several copies: one each for my office, living room and bedroom. I’ll add my name on top so that it reads, “U-Gee,* Love Like Christ.”

I promise to do my best in this regard by God’s grace. So help me God!

The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.

I enclosed “children” in inverted commas ’cause I have no biological children but have young people that I have a mother-child relationship with.
“To launch into the deep at the Saviour’s command” refers to Peter’s experience as recorded in Luke 5:1-7.
U-Gee, pronounced as the letters UG, is the way some friends shorten my native name, Ugochi.

Have you ever done the word for the year stuff? If yes, care to share your word for last year and how it worked for you or your word for the present year?

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.


  • Joy

    Love is a beautiful thing designed by God himself but the problem is that it’s often misinterpreted especially among youths. They go about committing all sorts of crimes all in the name of LOVE. The love we preach is the LOVE of Christ which is Unconditional. Let’s learn to show genuine love… …
    It pays.
    Nice piece ma !!!

  • paschal

    Mummy keep the spirit going,posterity will one day depend on your wisdom for survival,
    U rekindled the love in my heart with your beautiful write ups,
    So refreshing!
    Remain blessed wonderful mummy

  • Chika Udemba

    Loving ones neighbour as oneself is something i have made up my mind to keep doing because this article has given me more reasons to. Unconditional love knows no bound just as Christ’s love was for us and he died for our sins. I believe am nobody not to love my neighbour.. Ma, to be open-faced from the onset this article caught my attention till the end. Nice one! May God bless you.

  • Christ preached love and as humans we should all practice love as a way of life.. . Love should not count on any material thing but it should come from the heart so as God sent his only son to die for mankind on the cross of calvary for our sins… Thanks ma for this wonderful write up.. I pray we find love unconditionally this year Amen

  • Ogechi

    This work is enlightening. It has brought my attention to something different from the new year resolutions and so on.The word of the year is more like the main theme for all resolutions, so if I have a word for this year,it helps me know what my resolutions should look like. Nice job Big mama! I will work on my own word at once.For your word ma, I will say that love is the greatest of all other words.The Spirit of God who gave it to you will surely teach you how to work with it

  • ifeanyi Flawlex

    Love, a great word but we have refuse to see it in the Godly aspect of it rather we see it in the worldly aspect of it. I just pray that we will imbibe that spirit of Godly love in us to as to be very close to God, cause when we do, great things will be our portion. Amen. Great word to start up the new year with.

  • Wonderful word for the year! Love is to be the crux of all that we do as Christians (1 Cor. 13:1-3,13). It is how others know that we belong to Christ, by our loving one another (Jn. 13:35). It is deep and it is meant to go wide – because we have been loved that way. We have to LEARN how to love in a way that considers what is best for the other person (the type of love a husband is told to have for his wife and that Christ has for the church). Women have to LEARN how to love in an affectionate way (Titus 2:4) their husband and children. It just does not always come naturally, every day. It takes deliberate practice. it takes desiring to be loving. It takes thinking less of self and more of others. This is going to be a powerful year of growth for you and your readers as you explore this word! I have goosebumps thinking about the depths of truth there will be to explore. Enjoy your year and the blessings from your word! – Angela -The Diligent Woman

    • Edith Ohaja

      I feel those goosebumps too, Angela! Overcoming self will be the test but God is bigger than any challenge or obstacle and I’m just going to trust Him all the way. Thank you so much for dropping by. Abundant grace on your ministry too in Jesus’ name.

  • God'sgift nwafor

    This is a huge new year word ma thank u for sharing with us,and I personally don’t think it will be difficult for u cause I see love written all over u, ur words, teachings and attitude. More grace I pray

    • Edith Ohaja

      Thank you so,much for the encouragement, Godsgift. I truly appreciate it. Have a splendid new year in Jesus’ name.

  • Kingsley Okafor

    Love is something we should practice in our everyday lives as long as we are alive and kicking because is one of the Ten commandments of God(love your neighbour as you love yourself) so we Should always Let love leed in everything we do and I promise everyone of us If we begin to do so,The sky we be our starting point not our limit in this 2017 IJN #LLL# #very refreshing story ma#

  • Quite interesting. “Word for the year”. If I’d had one for the week and survived then a month probably. God will help me.

    Talking about loving like Christ. Isn’t such a bad thing, I mean its just to love isn’t it. Lets go back a bit. Jesus was humiliated, spat on, kicked, stoned, pushed, flogged with flesh tearing whips then crucified and even given vinegar to drink. Then his words:
    “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 KJV

    Who loves like that?! Well, its all by his grace, when we remember the things he went through to redeem us, we should also love because of him. I mean, that’s where we get our identity as Christians, right?

  • okereke chukwuemeka matthew

    love is great and awesome because i have been experiencing love from GOD, my parents, my siblings and other people. this year is also a year for me to show such love back to them but not only them but all the people am going to come across or deal with in any dimension.Thank u ma for such a pace setter for this glamorous new year.

  • Deacon Adigun Temitope Idealism

    I have come to understand that love is like a seed, planted by a “pure heart” for future harvest and before harvest, it must produce fruits.
    For instance, a pastor that in charge of a parish that do fight with his wife at home and we are expecting peace to reign in such church…To cut it short, love must start from oneself – do you even love yourself?

  • The love of man is usually conditional. It is a two way thing. you give me I give. But that of Jesus Christ is a perfect paradigm of unconditional love. He exemplified this by accepting to come and die in the most horrible way for us all. It is incumbent on us to love one another unconditionally even as we have begun another journey this year. The piece is well written as always.

  • Excellent post Edith. Loved it! 🙂 You said, “What makes this so challenging is that we’re not talking about my immediate family and close friends alone. One does not need much convincing to love one’s spouse, children, parents and best friends sacrificially. But anyone you have dealings with? That does not sound wise or practicable. Yet, I think if the love were so selective, it would fall far short of the love of Christ as seen in Romans 5:8.” Selective love, wow! That is what many of us unintentionally and perhaps unconsciously display. May our love know no boundaries and reach everyone, especially those we deem less deserving. After all, we form part of them. Great blogging sister. Keep up the kingdom work!

  • Ugwu patience

    I hav decided to draw nearer to God this year,now from this post I have discovered one vital thing & that is to start with ‘Love’ yes I have to love like Christ. Aunty, I am richly blessed by this post.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Praise God! It’s not something we can do by our own power but with God’s grace.

      • charlemagne

        love this post. what we really need now is love. there is too much hate and judgement going around. social media makes it worse as what we cannot say to a person’s face we make use of anonymous profiles to do it. the saying treat others as u want to be treated has become a mere saying than pratice. we need to really love our neighbours and pray for our enemies because if we dwell on hate we are probably gonna remain stagnant.

  • “Love” is such a beautiful word. I truly believe that at the ending of the year you will have learnt so much about loving like Christ. My prayers are with you Edith.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Thank you very much, Ami! I’m getting the nudges already and hoping I keep up with Him before they turn to shoves. Lol! Our God is good!

  • Oparaugo shalom

    Love is a thing of the heart. It should not only be restricted to family and friends rather it should be extended to others, because love they say makes THE WORLD GO ROUND… I pray that this year the love of christ will radiate in our hearts and shine out to others… Nice work Aunty

  • Ifeanyi Ekwegbalu

    Loving people with all you’ve got makes life easier in my opinion. Less drama, less grudges and less feelings of disappointment. There are some disadvantages but, the advantages outweigh.

  • Odigbo Chidinma

    Speaking from this point of view ” the Lord said He wants to teach me to love as He loves the church”, the fact remains that the love Christians of this new testament have towards their fellow Christians is decreasing every day and i believe that is the reason for this mandate given to you ma. For instance, in a Church where the low income earners are relegated to the back seats and those in ‘high class’ are given the front seats because they can give more offerings and tithes. should we say there is love in that same Church? this article serves as an eye-opener on how Christians of this era claims to live in love meanwhile they live in lies.

  • Ahuekwe Chioma

    You’ve always been big on Love ma, with a smile always on your face and a laughter always ready to be shared with all.
    In life, when you know that it is not easy to love is when you are hurt by people around you.But that is when you need to stand firm and love more no matter what. I pray God gives me the heart of Love and Forgiveness in all situations.

  • emekaobi ijeoma rita

    your write ups are always inspiring

  • Ishiwu Victor Chinonso

    Nice piece. On my path, I’m to love everybody around me as that’s what the Lord taught us to do. Love the less privileged, even ur enemies. Just keeping on showing love ’cause God is love. he is a God of love

  • Obetta Collins Odinakachukwu

    Love is the greatest of all virtues, so the bible said. This year, I must show love to those around me. And above all, I will reconcile with those I offended in the past years, and that includes my creator!

    • Edith Ohaja

      Very touching, Collins! You’ve got all the right words. May God help you to match them with action in Jesus’ name. And I pray for unlimited favour in every area of your life this year in Jesus’ name.

  • Ifechukwude Egbune

    Indeed to love like Christ is a task for us humans that can only be done by his grace.because it takes his grace to love unconditionally.

  • It is because at the beginning, God created the world with all his love. Since he has loved us, he also teaches us how to love one another. If people don’t have love, everyone will become selfish and only know grasping as more advantages for themselves as they can


    Ma, you are more than loaded o. so overwhelmed on how you able to know what battles in people,s mind especially, young people.1st Cor.13:4 have truly defined love but believe ma, at times it so difficult to equalize this LOVE. You find out that most times peoples attitudes leaves you with no option than to grade one higher than the other. I personally force myself at times to demonstrate this love on some people just for my Christianity sake. “LOVE” is actually a critical aspect of human life.The write-up is a nice one, especially now that February 14th is around the corner. Well done ma, I enjoyed this. More grace as you drop more interesting write-ups!

  • Ike Faustina Uchechukwu

    We need to learn how to love like Christ

  • Ahubaraezeama J.C (sirchuks)

    Pray for Gods grace to love, not earthly love the hurts and kills

  • covenant

    A heart filled with love for God and man can never do wrong.

  • Eme Samuel Ewa

    Correct, it is the love that God has shown to us by sending His Son as a ransom sacrifice that should move us to love him in return. Thanks for these inspiring words.

  • Nnamani Frankline Chinedu

    Since man can not do away with Love, I pray DAT God will teach me on how to Love rightly with everything in me. Thank u ma for Dis post…

  • keswet mercy

    we should love our neighbour as ourself just as christ taught us and provided a sacrificial example

  • Okpe Nnedinso

    Love is the greatest of all virtues…we all need to love like our heavenly father who demonstrated his love on the cross for our sins…bless you ma.

  • Okoye chidi

    The love of Jesus christ for us is al dat we need

  • Chukwuma Nkemjika

    Love indeed is a beautiful thing, we ought to understand dat in line with Christ’s love

  • Henrietta Okoye

    Love is the only gift that can last forever even in heaven they all worship God together as a sign of love… Love is the only thing that makes the world go round it is the circle of life… But at times I feel some people have a special gift to love than others…

  • Hephzibah

    The topic of love is so deep and broad, I doubt it can be exhausted. But one thing I know for sure is that God laid a perfect example when he gave his only son. We have to aim for that kinda love. It’s the only way to go about it

  • Ikwuakam Oluchi Francisca

    Love,love,love…the summary of the gospel.This piece is inspiring ma,our love should transcend from our immediate family to everyone we come in contact with.Keep it up ma


    Love is good and love is everything. The lord instructed us in his word that we should love our neighbour as we love ourselves. love knows no pride and sin.If we should begin this year with godly love towards our neighbour, then there will be no news of killings, religious intolerance, political nuzzle and so on.

  • Onoh Oziomachukwu

    LOVE! LOOVE! LOVVEE! it can never be overemphazised. Love is the greatest of all. just keep loving, no harm to it. Thank you ma for this. i’m guessing its still not late to practice ‘love’

  • Njoku Chimamaka Elizabeth

    Indeed love is the ultimate. The world wouldn’t be in so much chaos if men learnt to love. Love is necessary if the world must be a better place. Nice one ma!

  • thelma Ideozu

    This should be the word for every year, every month & week! May His love teach us more & more how to love others (& our selves, too)

  • Nwogu Chiamaka

    God showed his love to us by sending his only begotten son to died on the cross for our sin. We should learn to love everybody around us they way we love ourselves.

  • Aniah favour Adaeze

    Love is the answer, love is the only way, love one another thats what jesus ! Love!! Love!!!

  • Akogu Imelda Chidiebere

    Yes love is the greatest gift anyone can give his brothers, sisters, mother, father and neighbours though its really not easy to love wholly just as Christ loves us but my his grace we will fulfill that commandment to love one another even as Christ loved us. Amen

  • Okorie Flora

    Love is the greatest virtue. We should learn to love everyone around us including our enemies. Always pray to God to give you a loving heart.

  • Ugwu Gabriel

    Ma you have said it all. God is love and he who does not have love does not have God

  • Amana Sharon Umola

    Love!!! It’s easy to profess love and yet very difficult to do even loving my enemies. Help me to love Father, irrespective of who.

  • Ukaga Arthur Jachimike

    I am truly motivated by this piece. I never really thought about having a word for the year. And yes, you are correct MA, to love each and everyone is not as easy as it sounds. Hopefully, your work would inspire many, like myself, to work towards spreading love to others.

  • Lord, make me encounter and exhibit love, not this worldly love but the character of God in my life never ceasing in every season.

  • Chukwurah Nnenna Chisom

    Love should be practiced in our everyday life. Where there is love ,there is peace and joy. Love is beautiful. Let love lead. ..
    Phenomenal post ma…

  • Olusola Esther

    Love should be seen in the way we relate with people. It should be unconditional.
    We need to start loving people from our heart and not from our mood or needs.

    Nice post Ma’am

  • Makwe Covenant Nkiruka

    One significant thing above love is that highest and most important of the gifts of God. Even the Bible emphasizes on the need for loving your neighbours,as you live yourself, because it is the greatest and love covers everything.

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