Loving because we are loved
As you can probably guess by many of my recent blog posts, I am increasingly seeing how self-focused I am and how that can so easily cause me to not love those around me the way I am called to. This does not mean that I need to beat myself up (although I can easily succumb to the temptation to) and/or determine to simply ‘try harder.’ Instead, I need to ask God to better understand His love and forgiveness for me so that I can in turn love others with that same kind of love. Oh, how I wish I could do this consistently!
Anyway, with that being said, and with Valentine’s Day upon us, I thought I would share a passage from a great book that I am currently reading about motherhood, A Mother’s Heart by Jean Fleming.
“As I’ve thought about the role of love in my mothering, I’ve been stimulated by 1 Corinthians 13*, which I have paraphrased:
If I keep my house immaculately clean, and am envied by all for my interior decorating, but do not show love in my family – I’m just another housewife.
If I’m always producing lovely things – sewing, art; if I always look attractive, and speak intelligently, but am not loving to my family – I am nothing.
If I’m busy in community affairs, teach Sunday school, and drive in the carpool – but fail to give adequate love to my family – I gain nothing.
Love changes diaper, cleans up messes, and ties shoes – over and over again.
Love is kind, though tired and frazzled.
Love doesn’t envy another wife – one whose children are ‘spaced’ better, or in school so she has time to pursue her own interests.
Love doesn’t try to impress others with my abilities or knowledge as a mother.
Love doesn’t scream at the kids.
Loves doesn’t feel cheated because I didn’t get to do what I wanted to do today – sew, read, soak in a hot tub.
Love doesn’t lose my temper easily.
Loves doesn’t assume that my children are being naughty just because their noise level is irritating.
Love doesn’t rejoice when other people’s children misbehave and make mine look good. Love is genuinely happy when others are honored by their children.”
It doesn’t really matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside of the home – the above words apply to all of us. And beyond that, they even apply if we’re not a mom (or dad) at all … think of the relationships in your life and what the above statements might be changed to say in regards to each specific relationship.
May we do as 1 John 4:19 in the Bible says – love others as a result of being loved by the One (God) who created us.
*Click here to read 1 Corinthians 13.