Why 'Tough Love' May Not Be as Biblical as You Think

(Unsplash/Jon Tyson)
Dr. Steve Greene, publisher and executive vice president of Charisma Media Group, knows about love. As a longtime marketing expert, college professor, pastor, podcast host and mentor to many, he has lived out love in the marketplace—and depended on the Holy Spirit to give him the love he needed in every situation.

That's why he wrote the book, Love Leads, Greene tells host and deliverance minister Kathy DeGraw in a recent episode of Prophetic Spiritual Warfare on the Charisma Podcast Network. He had read many leadership books and although they taught him a great deal, "There's something missing from them," he says. "I thought there was a core ingredient, and that was godly love. .... If you don't have love, if God is love, and you don't have love, how can you possibly lead?" Greene says that although he was never good at algebra, he realized this was a simple equation: "If you don't have love, you can't lead a godly mission."

Greene had some encouraging feedback on his book from someone he calls "a well-known leader in the kingdom, who told him, 'Your book rocked me.'" But this leader added, "'I don't think this book is going to sell well among pastors, because most pastors believe they're good leaders. And they believe that they must lead, that they don't need love. They need to be strong in their pulpit. They need to show people that tough love.'

"I don't think I've ever read 'tough love' in the Bible," Greene says. "Never saw examples of it. I see correction. I see strong rebuke. But I don't see tough love. I don't think they're synonyms. I don't think that 'tough' describes 'love' in any way. ... The capacity to love has got to be something supernatural because I can't do it in my flesh. I think some people can feel love in the flesh, that we can make a choice to love. But that choice is going to be empowered by the Holy Spirit."

To hear more about godly love and how you can access it through the Holy Spirit in all of your relationships, click here to listen to the entire podcast.

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