Skip to main content
Classical Christian MovementSCL Updates

Irrefutable Lessons of Love

By December 12, 2023December 21st, 2023No Comments

Lessons of Advent

Henri Nouwen, in his book, In the Name of Jesus, wrote, “What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.” 

When my oldest son reached middle school, I remember naively thinking, “I think this parenting thing is going to be a lot harder than I thought.” I realized that things were going to be messy. Anyone with authority and influence (teachers, parents, leaders) face the ongoing temptation to exert excessive control in the lives of people around them. That temptation increases exponentially when we begin to encounter obstacles and frustrations. I really want my students to grow in self control or my faculty to be more patient with their struggling students. If these people just did what I said, all would be well. I have a plan. It seems like it will work. It has to work. But it doesn’t. 

Nouwen offers something profound that all Christian people should heed. The temptations toward power and control are so embedded in our lives we can hardly discern them. From technology to money to influence, we so easily lapse into the belief that we are really forging our own way. Yet, to love something, we must yield to it. For something to flourish, it must be properly and patiently tended and stewarded. This is true of nature, the resources we manage, and most of all, the people we see, love, and serve. As a parent or teacher, I can become detached from the relationship and seek the outcomes at any cost. My frustrations expose my motives that what I really want is to impose my will on the people and things around me. This is the “easy substitute for the hard task of love.”

Augustine tells us, “patience is the companion of wisdom.” The most valuable things in life require time, attention, patience, and sacrifice. They require love. There are no shortcuts. There are no efficiencies of scale – just the slow, steady resolve to do the right, hard things over a long period of time. We are not only the agents of change in the lives of others. As those called to shape the hearts of others, we too are being formed. We must love others, not control them. 

Advent, if anything, teaches us these remarkable and irrefutable lessons. Let us heed them and remember that the long, expected Jesus loves us through the gentle movement of Spirit. Lord, “by thine own eternal Spirit, rule in all our hearts alone.”

Annual Offerings Booklet

As a member, you receive access to all of the most recent summer conference content, including 80+ workshops, plenary speakers, etc., plus access to the full library of past content.

Conference Sessions

Ensure increased visibility for your school by having it listed on the Find a School Map, connecting you with potential students and families seeking a classical Christian learning environment.

Map Feature

Unlock a wealth of exclusive resources, such as research studies and articles, providing valuable insights and knowledge for your school's continuous improvement.


Enable your school to easily post job openings and attract qualified candidates with the Career Center, simplifying the hiring process.

Career Center

Enjoy exclusive discounts on all SCL events and services, empowering you to access valuable resources and opportunities for your school's growth at a more affordable cost.

Exclusive Discounts

Get access to exclusive cohorts and workshops!

Cohorts and Workshops

SCL conducts school-wide surveys to provide relevant information to the classical Christian community as well as access to in-depth research with partner organizations like the Barna Group.


A connected community of classical Christian thought leaders, including heads of school, board members, marketing and admissions directors, development and fundraising directors, academic deans, grammar and upper school heads, and teachers from all grade levels are here to support and encourage one another.


Member-exclusive Coaching Call sessions. 15-20 online sessions each year from key-thought leaders on topics ranging from legal and operational issues to pedagogical and philosophical discussions. Think of it as a mini-conference each month!

Coaching Calls

Gain new insight, knowledge, and skills around best practices in a short, intensive format with workshops or a year-long mentorship experience with cohorts. Designed for administrators, teachers, parents, leaders, and department heads – anyone seeking to learn and grow in their role.

Conference & Workshops

Our network of seasoned professionals is available to navigate your questions and brainstorm solutions with you. Let us know how you want to direct your time and we will pair you with the senior leader that best suits your school’s unique needs.