Monday, January 02, 2012

My One Word *LOVE*

If you haven't heard of  www.myoneword.org , you should definitely check it out. It is a challenge put out to our Sunday School class. I immediately upon perusing the website thought "fruit of the Spirit". "Love" was just a natural outpouring of the next thoughts. I need to have more love for my God, for my husband, for my children...for my world! The thoughts that followed at first were kinda superficial...how can I show love? Take a meal, visit with people, give good things, spend more time...etc. But after a few days of dwelling on the word and it's meaning and how it might play out in life, I began to look deeper. I have always loved the signs that say "Love is spoken here." I thought about that too. And as I pondered it, I realized my idea of "love" was not exactly in line with God's idea of love. When I think of "love is spoken here", I think of speaking to each other with sugar dripping off the words. I get that magazine picture of perfection in my head. Nobody ever gets upset, spills clean up at the whip of a tiny particle of paper towel(you know what I'm saying!), dogs don't track mud in even when it's raining, play doh doesn't make a mess...etc etc etc! You may wonder what these things have to do with love at all, but bear with me here! As I pondered these things and how focusing on love from a Godly perspective would look like, I realized speaking love is more what is coming from your heart than what is coming from your mouth. When I say to Noah, "Why did you do that?"  or "What were you thinking?" Am I speaking in unconditional love or in some other fleshly emotion, such as frustration, embarrassment(how often do we parent for this reason?), or just plain lack of self control. I can tell you that what he hears when I say those things is not "I love you no matter what..." I want for my children to know that when they need correction it is for the sake of love, not because it's embarrassing when they misbehave or because they "pushed mommy over the edge". Looking further at love, I thought of the love chapter...I Corinthians 13. I want to come back to v. 1-3 at a later point because they are stab straight through the heart, no messing around, open and honest! But the thing that actually struck me when he starts going into the description of love is that the very first descriptor of love is "patient". Did you hear me? "PATIENT!!" Love is PATIENT!!! Now I believe that every word of the Bible is given by God and it is NOT an accident that love is first described as PATIENT! Again, I spent some time thinking and wondering why God would choose patient as His first descriptor of the most important trait. I thought about life examples(my 3 beautiful children...they are my life teachers!). It hit me all at once...in order to truly respond to a situation in Godly love we must first take that step back, that deep breath...we must be patient!! Love is not a natural outpouring of our flesh(unless it is our own self love). I would dare to say that any outpouring of love that is of our own doing is only to get something in return(self-love). (I could write a book here, but I'll spare you!) So back to my point of love being patient first...we must first implement a patient spirit(one willing to wait on answers or results or even return of love) before we can respond to a situation with true LOVE!

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