Monday, December 10, 2007

The Best Way to Love

It wasn't too ago that I became keenly aware that I was getting in a habit of raising my voice towards Justin and Sarah. I don't mean screaming or yelling, I mean a raised voice with an unpleasant tone. It seemed the more I allowed myself to become agitated the easier it was for my voice to find the tone and pitch that is most undesirable to my children's ears.

This fact greatly disturbed me. You see, I made a pact with myself when I was a child just about their age that I would not yell at my kids. And although this tone does not quite qualify for the "yelling" that I had in mind back then, it is certainly a close cousin to it.

So, I cried out to the Lord. I poured my heart out to him and asked Him to show me the best way to love our children. My mind immediately went to the "Love Chapter", 1 Corinthians 13. The Spirit of God stirred my heart as I read the following verses:

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

My heart instantly rejoiced for so many reasons;

  • Because He heard my cry and answered me with His Word, His Word that is living and active and sharper than any double edged sword.

  • Because as I read the words in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, I undoubtedly know that the apostle Paul's description of love is precisely how God showed His love by sending His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for a wretch like me.

  • Because God has not left me alone on this earth to become like Him, but has given me a deposit, His Holy Spirit that indwells me and His word to correct, rebuke, and train me in the way I should go!
In real time, how does this all play out? One day at a time. Honestly, I can't love my children as they need to be loved without the power of God working in me. I just love how the Lord teaches me! He certainly doesn't treat me as my sins deserve, but instead shows me great love and kindness.

So, back to real time; when I blow it with my kiddos, I ask them to forgive me. They amaze me because they are just so quick in mercy and forgive so easily. The other night was such an occasion. We were running late and Tim was still at work. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off; wrapping gifts, baking, getting the kids ready, and trying to get myself ready all at the same time. And I really hate being late so it was adding to my angst. We were trying to head out to our Christmas party for our Sunday school class. I quickly stopped off at a fast food place to grab the kids a deliciously healthy dinner and then had to make a quick stop by the ATM. On the way to the ATM my sweet Sarah spilled her drink all the way down her pants. I was SO not happy. She started crying because she was soaked. I informed her that no, we would not be turning around to go home. Sweet huh-We pulled up to a gas station, I quickly got in the trunk and luckily had an extra pair of pants for her to put on. (I know, I was REALLY lucky that I still had the "give away" clothes in the trunk.) Finally, Sarah had dry clothes. I had my cash. and we were once again in route to the church. I apologized to Sarah for my lack of patience and told her that I just needed to take a chill pill. She replied, "Wow, where do you get those?" I said, "Jesus honey. You go to Jesus."

So, the best way to love? For me, it's learning the 1 Corinthians 13 love one day at a time with hands on experience.

1 comment:

Dimple Queen said...

You are so sweet. Thanks for the comment you left on my site. I too am fairly new to blogging. I started last spring, but took off most all of the summer since I didn't have internet at home, but since school has started, I blog/catch up on them in my spare time during my conference period or lunch or in between going to get students. (I teach special ed. in a pull out kind of situation) Anyway, I have really been trying to use this as a place for me to be just that (real and open) I am trying to make myself more vulnerable and that is scarry for me!

I read over a couple of your posts and you too seem to have a heart that loves the Lord and your family. We also sound A LOT alike. Coming across some of the ladies online has helped me to understand that we are really all the same. One of them said one time, "Same story, different characters!" And I have found that to be SO true!

Hope to get to know you more!