Love… everyone wants to be loved. People want to be IN love. But what does it look like to simply BE LOVE?
In Bob Goff’s books, Love Does and Everybody Always, which our elementary and junior high staff has read for their some of their reading assignments, Bob reminds us that love, true agape love which can only come from God, is an action word … a verb. How many times have we heard, “I love you,” and yet we don’t see any evidence of an action attached to that love? As Christians, we are called to love others, because God first (and unconditionally) loved us. “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11 ESV. But, what does that love look like?
I think love looks like Jesus taking time to greet the children when his disciples kept reminding him he had to “stay on schedule” (Luke 18:15-17). I think love looks like Jesus in various historical accounts from the Bible sitting down and eating with the poor, the sick, the sinners. I think love looks like Jesus reminding his disciples (and us) to love our enemies (Luke 6:45). I think love looks like Jesus reminding us to not judge others or think we are better than anyone else (Matthew 7:1-5). Most of all, I think love looks like Jesus, with his arms open wide, nailed to a cross and giving up his life for us, because he LOVES us more than we can ever earn or deserve (Matthew 27).
During the end-of-year meetings for elementary and junior high, I asked the teachers to work in groups to identify key traits that were observable in our students, as well as traits that we would like to further develop in our students. The key words we wanted our students to BE were honest, joyful, kind, service-minded, enthusiastic, compassionate, empathetic, respectful. Of course, the complete list covered many more traits. As we contemplated the words, 1 Corinthians 16:14 came to mind, “Let all that you do be done in love.” The words from the list will just be words, unless we show our students how to DO those traits and, in turn, BE LOVE to those around them.
Just as Christ modeled to his disciples what it meant to follow him and to love unconditionally, the goal for all of us on the elementary and junior high staff this year is to model the traits from the list, as well as those that didn’t make the final cut. We simply can’t tell students to “go out there on the playground and show compassion to everyone” if they don’t even know what compassion looks like in action. How can we expect students to be respectful if our words and actions are not respectful? The same thinking applies to all of the words on our list, as well as those we didn’t list. The modeling of our staff should also extend to fellow staff members, students outside of their classrooms, parents, people we encounter on field trips, and the list goes on.
If you have ever worked with modeling clay, or built a model car or any other type of replica, you know that as good as that replica is – it is really just a model of the real thing. So too, we know that even as we attempt to model these traits to our students, as we try to model Christ to those around us – we may fall short. But the thing about wanting to love like Christ and BE LOVE to those around us is this…we will get back up, admit we stumbled, and ask Christ to continue to use us for HIS purpose.
As parents, will you join us as we model Christ’s love to our students and one another? As wonderful as we all know SVC is…can you imagine how much MORE SVC could be if we all continue to model Christ’s love not only to our children, but to those around us? One of my favorite passages from the Bible is Philippians 2:1-11. Verse 2 says, “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
I love this school. I love my staff. I love the students and parents. I also love Dr. Pepper and Baja Fish Tacos. I don’t need to model love to Dr. Pepper or Baja Fish Tacos … it’s kind of an unspoken thing. But I do need to strive each day to demonstrate kindness, respect, empathy, compassion, joy, service to others, enthusiasm, and respect to those around me. Thank you in advance for praying for me to be the “super model” in these areas!
With over 35 years’ experience as a classroom teacher and administrator, Lori Jensen is the consummate educator. Her ministry at SVC began in 1998, teaching 1st and 2nd grades. In 2001, she accepted the position of Elementary Principal; in 2013, she added the role of Junior High Principal.
Mrs. Jensen is responsible for the day-to-day operations and programs of both school levels. Her wholehearted goal is to provide our Elementary and Junior High students with the best experience possible. As such, she is constantly evaluating new programs and curriculum, adding innovative teaching methodologies, and pursuing collaborative efforts.
“Being surrounded by children who are excited to be at school is a blessing — every day,” said Mrs. Jensen. “I get to witness students accomplish great things academically, grow in their relationship with Jesus, and explore what God’s purpose is for their lives. This is why we become Christian school educators.”
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, a Multiple Subject Credential, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Married to husband Bill for 36 years, the Jensens have two daughters — both of whom are SVC alumni. She treasures her time with family and friends, loves to travel, read, and watch old movies (with a Dr. Pepper and Nacho Doritos in hand). In addition to her ministry at SVC, Mrs. Jensen is a small group leader for a women’s Bible study at her church.