“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”~1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT
When I think of how much I love my children and how much love I feel for them, it fills me with wonder. And I often do a quick scan of my heart anytime I tell my children I love them. I ask, “do you really?” That may sound like an odd thing to think about, but I do it anyway.
I realize how perfunctory loving our children may seem to us, that we don’t often take time to think through the implications and consequences of loving them. When we take God’s idea of love into consideration, then we can weigh our love as a feeling and as a commitment as opposed to reducing it to only affection and words.
The Bible describes how our love should look like in 1 Corinthians 13, and I particularly want to draw attention to verses 3 to 7, which says, “If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” ~1 Corinthians 13:3-7 NLT
I have often thought of the poor as those who are in economic lack, but as I thought of verse 3 above in light of my children, I realized that the poor is anyone who is lacking something. My children can be poor in wisdom, judgment, and understanding when they are still too young to make any good decisions. So, even if I make sacrifices for my children ( which the average mom does every single day ), if I don’t do it from a place of love, it’s in vain. If I am not patient, always demanding that my children act exactly the way I want all the time, I am not really displaying love. What mother doesn’t get irritable? If I am constantly tired and irritable because of the responsibilities of motherhood, I am not loving. If I fail to pray for my child who is not walking the right path because I have given up hope, then I am definitely not acting in love.
God’s word is clear about the metrics of love displayed, and this extends to our families too, and in particular, our children. And, of course, this is not to judge or bring condemnation to you, dear sister. In fact, I haven’t always thought of loving my children in this way, but as the Holy Spirit reveals more to me about areas where I need to love my children, I ask for His help and submit to His wisdom as I make these changes.
What changes will you need to make to ensure you show love to your child as God desires it? Affection and sacrifices are a beautiful part of loving our children, but a commitment to God’s definition of love is even more important in dealing with and interacting with them.
So, every time we think of loving our children, we definitely need to remember that beyond words, hugs, and kisses, the true test of our love is in our attitude and commitment to the affection we feel for our children.
Pray with me:
Lord, I am thankful for the gifts of the child (ren) you have given me to nurture, care for and raise in love. I confess that often, I don’t like my children so much, and I may get irritable, tired, and cranky when I relate with them. I ask for Your help, Holy Spirit, that You will show me areas of my heart where I need to make adjustments about my attitude and commitment to loving my children. May I display love to my children in words, deeds, and in commitment in Jesus’ name. Amen
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