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Let love lead

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

Ok, first of all – if you aren’t familiar with KJV, “charity” means “love”. Charity is an old English word for love. 

Moving on..

Have you ever had a situation in your life in which someone you care about doesn’t do or act the way that you think they should? Their decisions don’t line up with what you are expecting. You think that your way is the correct and only way to handle the situation. And when the person you care about takes a path different from the one you had laid out in your head, well, that just won’t do. You get all in a fuss and begin to question their ability to choose for themself. You think they need an intervention. 

What they really need is love (go ahead – let you inner Beatle go at it!). 

When you love someone (and I’m not just talking about your spouse – I’m talking about ANYBODY you care about), these verses cover them. That means that you (and I) need to invoke all these wonderful attributes into that relationship. Patience, kindness, lack of pride, unselfishness, long suffering- these are the kinds of actions that need to be present whenever we love someone. 

But when they are thinking and behaving outside of our realm of what we believe for them, it gets tough. As long as they are within our little box for them, we are good – no relationship strains or challenges. But we all know that no one stays in the box. People are constantly outside their little box we give them to exist in. And that’s where we have to put love into action. 

We need to be patient with them, give them space to think things through and make their own choices. And when those choices don’t look like what we think they should, we have to be kind and long suffering. We haven’t walked in their shoes. We have walked alongside them, but to know the real ins and outs of what is going on inside their head is impossible. We have to remove our prideful and selfish behaviors that want to step in and intervene. They don’t need us to tell them what to do. They need us to listen and understand that they are trying to figure out what is next. We all deal with life and situations differently. We see problems in a variety of lights. We view opportunities with unique perspectives. Loving someone means respecting that uniqueness and embracing the time that it takes them to sort it all out. 

So today, maybe you have someone in your life that is trying to figure it all out. Maybe that person is going through major life changes or maybe they are just having one of those days. Either way, love them as the Holy Spirit instructed Paul to tell us here in these verses. You may not understand their choices, their problems or their thought process but remember that you don’t have to – you just need to bathe them in prayer and let Jesus take control of the situation. We can only walk so far with them, but He can walk the entire way.  

Lest thou forget

Deuteronomy 4:9 – “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons”

If you are wondering where I have been and why I haven’t been posting, my family and I went to Washington DC for spring break. We had a great time, good laughs and really tired feet! I’m sure we walked an average of 8-10 miles per day. Lots to see and do in that great city. 

But our main focus, as is most who visit DC, was history. We went to several museums, monuments and buildings. We saw plaques proclaiming everything from George Washington’s gavel to lay the cornerstone for the Capitol to a box car used to carry people to concentration camps. It was all very moving. 

It called to rememberance great highs in our nations history and deep valleys in our world’s history. We were reminded of triumphs and challenges. We saw beautiful specticals of natural and great works of human hands. 

Just like so many of the others who walked beside us, we took our children to educate them. We want them to know and understand who we are as a nation, where we came from and why it is so important to preserve what our forefathers achieved. 

So many outside forces are working against our great nation. People want to tear down and destroy freedom and the pursuit of happiness. They think that the pursuit should be more of a handout. Some want to surpress freedom to keep from offending others. 

The founders of our country wanted nothing more than to live their lives apart from someone else’s control. They believed that only One should have control – God. They believed He founded and blessed this nation. I believe that as well. I believe that we must remember our past and honor our future by preserving and adhering to the principles set forth all those years ago. 

History is not just something to skim over and get through in school. It is the basis for everything that we do each and every day. And not only is our nation’s history important, but so is our spiritual history. His story is important. The founders of our country knew it and we would do well to take it to heart as well. 

Children and wrath

Ephesians 6:4 – “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

I know that everyone who reads this doesn’t necessarily have children. But we all have children in our life. And the same principles apply to them and to the adults in our life as well. It’s about living in peace. 

Yesterday as we were driving home from soccer practice, my son was concerned over a text he received from a friend, who happens to be a girl. She was having symptoms of a panic attack stemming from an argument that she had with her mother. 

When I heard this, it truly burdened my heart. It made me sad. What is going on in our homes? 

I am not naive enough to think that people are living peaceably with teens and preteens all the time.  I know that hormones and society and many other factors are and can be given the opportunity to wreak havoc on our children. But how do we follow the commands of the Lord and not provoke our children to wrath in this delicate time? How do we keep our teens following after Him instead of following after the world?

I don’t know. (I hate saying those words!)

I’m not the perfect parent by any stretch of the means. I just TRY to follow the commands of The Word and do the best I can with what God has given me. 

Before my children were born, I found a poem at an art show. I had to buy it because it exemplified exactly how I wanted to bring my children up in this world. It is titled “Children live what they learn”. It has made me think, over the years, about what and how I am teaching my children. 

  
So how do we live peaceably with those around us? One of my main attempts is through respect. I want to respect my children. I want to respect my husband. I want to respect my family, my church, my government, my work, my patients, the person at the grocery store who is tying up the cashier, the crazy person who cut me off in traffic, and I could go on and on! When people feel they are respected, their attitude, and mine, take on a whole new demeanor. 

So let me encourage you, whether you have children or not, to be respectful and do not promote others to wrath. Yep, it’s hard sometimes because people make us so mad, but how would Jesus handle the situation? Jesus dealt with teenagers too. You know there had to be some in His following. I’m sure they spoke with Him as well. We have no record of it but how could He not have interacted with them? But one thing Jesus did do, He respected everyone – from the highest official to the lowest beggar. And we should do the same.