This is part of a series of posts discussing the 5 Values of The Oak House. You can see all the posts by clicking here.
Love is a strange value for a business to express. Usually, the value of love is reserved for a personal value. So why did we choose to include it as, not only a value, but the FIRST value for The Oak House? Because we understand love has to be the guiding principle in what we do so we can stand out. Most people aren’t truly loved. Not many people have the ability to say they are cherished. They are liked and respected for acting the way they do, but not many people can say they have a place where they can go where they know they are loved and appreciated regardless of what is going on in their lives.
I was very deliberate in choosing this value and putting it first because I believe, as a Christian, that “whoever says he lives in him ought to walk in the same way in which Jesus walked” ( 2:6). Jesus loved people. He loved them regardless of their skin color, cultural background, religious affiliation, sexual preferences, or financial status. He never told them he didn’t love them. He was never hesitant to spent time with people who weren’t like him. He just loved people and I believe we are in a time where we need more of that.
Loving is often confused with condoning. If you love someone you do not have to condone what they are doing. I can love my son and not condone his defiant behavior. I can love my lesbian neighbor but not condone her lifestyle. If more people (and businesses) realized you can love without condoning, everyone would be better for it.
One of my favorite quotes is from Billy Graham. He said “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.” I like that quote so much I had a graphic designer make it into a poster. I printed it off and hung it in my living room. I deliberately hung it there so anyone who comes into my home knows exactly where I stand if they come to me with a problem. I’m not here to guilt you into stopping whatever you are doing but I will tell you if it is wrong. Loving isn’t avoiding the hard truth. I’m not here to judge you and tell you what a horrible person you are and where you will spend eternity. But I will set up healthy boundaries (for me) about your behavior and my proximity to it. Loving doesn’t mean wallowing in the mud with you. All I am here to do is to love you. That is all The Oak House is here to do; to love people.
Our value is expressed this way:
Lead With Love. We believe when you lead with love, you have the advantage.
We think you should put love first in everything you do. You should approach every problem and conversation with love at the forefront of your response. If you do that, we believe you automatically have the upper hand.