Love seems to be the theme

I have had an incredible evening, soaking in the love of and for my Heavenly Father. Funny how, when we least expect it, God shows up and lavishes His love on us, and reminds us that He is there, and He truly desires relationship with us. It all started today with my devotions in Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (New International Version, ©2011)

 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

I have been praying that God would help me teach my children the importance of love- both for God and for their”neighbors” ( and I guess especially – their siblings). It is my opinion that if you love someone , you place their needs, wants and wishes above your own. So, if we truly love God then LOVE should be the root of all actions , words, and thoughts, since we are told that the greatest commandment is to love God and second to that is to love others.

 HMMMM- children learn more from what they see you do, than what they hear you say….. OUCH! My children see me lack patience, and get upset over spilled milk, and raise my voice, and…. all in all lack a loving attitude and it is clearly demonstrated in my words, and my huffs and puffs and sighs( results of my thoughts).

Now,maybe I am the only one who is looking over the last week, and seeing some not so lovely moments, but it has made me take pause. I need to remember that my love for God and my love for others is so intricately intertwined, the lines disappear. Hard to do one without the other. Can I truly Love God and yet not love those around me- even if they are unlovely? Can I really love God and lack patience with my kids? Can I really love God and not show kindness to the very rude cashier, who informed me of my “unbelievable ignorance” for having 7 kids? In our minds we separate the two- love for God and love for our fellow man, but somehow, I think the two are very much the same to God. I DO love my God, with an unending, deep, abiding love and I want that love to spill over into and onto everything I think, say, and do. I was really mulling this over and asking God to show me why I sometimes have such a hard time with this whole”love thy neighbor” thing, and I remembered something I heard a long time ago~ We would not have such a hard time being kind, patient and loving if we could just get it through our thick skulls- that we no longer have “rights”.We gave up all of our “rights” when we gave our lives to Christ.  YEP- if somehow, I wasn’t concerned with my “right” to a polite cashier, or “my right” to a few minutes of peace and quiet, or “my right” to whatever, and remember the only “right” I have now( because I willingly chose Christ over “my rights”) is to take up my cross and follow Him. Carrying the cross is not easy, or fun, or pain free for us- Neither was it for Him- and yet He loved us enough to give up His every right, carry that cross, and die a PAINFUL death, so that we may have sweet fellowship with Him. Makes my “complaints” so petty!

Puts true love in perspective .

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