Loving our Families

By on April 1, 2013

By Christine Maddox –

Sometimes, more often than not, the people we love the most we hurt more than anyone. And it is not because we do not love them; it is because they do love us in return. Being human as we are we tend to take those people for granted because we feel secure in their love. Often we treat strangers so much better than those that we hold near and dear to our hearts. Thoughtlessness comes when we know someone loves us just the way we are. When things get tense, busy, and life is hurried we sometimes do not even notice how we treat those we love the best.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately. My dear mother who is turning seventy-six in about a month has been there for me through thick and thin, not only for me but for everyone in the family. I noticed that I was getting impatient with her over trivial things and was getting irritated with her for cleaning up and forgetting where she put something. I was reading the Bible and the Lord was speaking to me through His Word about love and what it is. I know everyone can probably quote bits and pieces of 1 Corinthians 13 from the Bible and what it means to love. But have you actually taken the time to sit down and meditate on what it is saying. Here it is; take a minute to read it and think deeply about what it is saying:

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1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2) If 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. 3) If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5) It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8) Love 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. 9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10) but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11) When 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. 12) Now 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.13) And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)

The greatest of these is love. And did you see verse five? Oh my, when we hold our love up to the light how does it look? I know that I am sorely lacking. When I began to think about this I also began to contemplate whether or not I really loved anyone by these standards. I dearly love my children and would do anything for them but am I always patient and kind? Love is not easily angered and does not keep records of wrongs? How many times in anger do most of us remember a past wrong and use it to our advantage?

I know you may be saying that we are only human and we cannot be perfect. This is true but we can be so much more conscious of our actions and attitudes and we can be persevering towards this kind of love, since love is always persevering. I know that the more I read about what true love is and the more I strive towards that kind of love then the better equipped I am to love my entire family and even those outside of my family.

Lately things have been kind of rough. Since God is so good He allows these things to happen so that He can help us to look outside ourselves and see the world through His eyes. Not the whole picture of course but just a glimpse of the greater life He has in store for us if we focus on Him. Lately my youngest who is twenty has been making some bad life choices which of course spill all over the rest of his family. So very often young people, and old alike, think that their life is their life and that it is not hurting anyone else. I say “HA”. As we look back at 1 Corinthians 13 we see where love is not self-seeking, it is not thinking about just oneself but about the others who are around you.

I have given my son sound advice and have talked until I am blue in the face. At times he will listen and at other times he would just like me to shut my trap. In all my frustration and sometimes anger, mostly out of hurt, nothing has done much good. The Lord, out of His great compassion and love for me, has been telling me lately that He is in control of everything. That I should surrender my life before Him and leave my burdens at His feet and allow Him to do what He does. That means laying my son (really His son) down at his feet, and do you know how hard that is for a parent to do sometimes? God is love and he loves my son so much more than I could ever love Him. He created Him and He knows my son inside and out. He knows how to reach Him where I do not.

I just need to believe that God can and will take care of this boy and it is my responsibility to love the right way, God’s way, loving with the other person’s best in mind. Let our Lord Jesus love them through me, my part is to surrender myself to Him and allow His love to flow through me. Then I will be pleasing in His sight and loving people with the right love.

It is so simple but we make it so complicated because we do not want to release our control. Do we really think we have the power to love someone, really love someone, without having the God of love in control of our lives? As for me, I say we do not. We also lose our peace, our joy, and we lose hope when we do not keep our eyes on Jesus because He is our hope, our only hope.

I did not start out to write this exact article but as I dwell on love, real love, there is no other way to express it except through our Heavenly Father. If you have a heart to love your family with genuine love then you need to turn it over to the Lord and ask Him to love each person through you, with His love. There is no greater love. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (NIV)

Thank you for letting me share my heart with you today. I am so thankful that God loves me so much that He is showing me a better way to live this life that I am living today. He offers us so much more than we can imagine out of life, and even when we have to go through hard times He is there to hold us and comfort us in His great love. He promises to those who love Him that, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) And He also says that, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 (NIV) May God bless you greatly in each of your personal circumstances with your families as He is in mine.

 

This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for www.4nannies.com. She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @ gmail.com.

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Loving our Families