"By obedience to the truth, having purified yourselves for sincere love of the brothers, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God" (1 Peter 1:22-23, HCSB).
Taking a quick look at one of my favorite resources, blueletterbible.org, found that "earnestly," is from the Greek verb ektenōs, which means earnestly, fervently, intenselyy. Loving earnestly is loving with all that you are. It's not holding back. It's showing little reserve. Yesterday, I let my little girl talk online with one of her best friends. The look on little E's face when she saw her buddy was priceless. She was suddenly talking a mile a minute, half real words, half baby talk. She had so much to share, so much love to give. That's friendship, that's love. The distance of time means little to her. Friendship, fellowship means everything.
This is apparently the month of the military child. I've seen a lot of things posted throughout the online world, supporting the military child's strength, resilience and independence. Apparently they're strong because their world is always changing, because they can't depend on anyone but themselves. And sure, I want my daughter to grow up strong. But I also want her to love. I don't want her to hate us for all of these years of moving around. Instead, I want her to learn what true love looks like. The love of a Savior, whose given us this unique calling as a military family. The love of friends, that only grows stronger with distance and time. I want her to earnestly love, to seek out ties and friendships, being well aware that she might only have a few short years to love. Because the choice is always there. She (and I), could stay reserved, chose not to let others see the real us, chose not to love, because the hurt is so deep when we have to leave. Or, we could invest, share, grow, reach out, and see what God might have in store for us in each new place. We could earnestly love with all that we have. And be beautifully blessed through the process.