My heart has been dwelling a lot on I Corinthians 13. It is such a key passage to describe what love really is. My love for me Lord, my love for my husband, my love for my children, and my love for others. It lays it all out in such a beautiful, poetic way and…I get lost in the words and don’t dwell enough on the meaning.
For the Word of God to be real in my life (which is the whole point of reading it), then I have to dwell on it in ways that make sense to me. I have rewritten this chapter to apply to the different relationships I have in my life. Since we are mom’s here, I thought I would share with you my own paraphrase for my children.
Alicia, if you talk to your children like an angel, but they think you don’t love them, your words will just be annoying noise and they will not hear one thing you ever say.
Alicia, if you had all the answers for their future, and could answer every hard question they ever asked you, and had so much faith that you could make the mountains in your life go away, and were this great spiritual giant, but did now show them love, then you are nothing to them and they will care less about your faith and wisdom.
Alicia, if you gave away everything you had to others, and even was willing to die for others, but don’t love them, it would bring you no profit in your life. They will see how you loved others but did not love them, and you will get no reward for your time in their life.
This jolts me out of my poetic bliss! I desperately want my children to know how very much I love them! So, then I had to ask myself the question, how do I really love my kids then? It is not enough that I say I love them. They must know I love them and I don’t get to define that. How will they know, without a doubt, their Momma loves them? I am so thankful God did not leave me hanging on this. He goes on to tell me.
Loving them is being patient with them when they make me angry. Loving them is being kind to them, when I feel like being mean. Loving them is being proud of them and not being jealous of them. Loving does not boast and brag on them when it is not true and give them a false sense of security. Loving them is acting appropriate with them and not acting like them when I don’t get my way, or acting childish when I react to them. Loving them is not seeking how I get to be the one who wins in every situation and am always the right one. Loving them means self-control and keeping my temper in check and not getting mad at everything they do. Loving them does not tell them what they “really meant” and how bad they are. Loving them means that it makes me sad, not mad, when they do wrong. Loving them means that I celebrate and encourage them when they have chosen the right way. Loving them will bear whatever they do….good or bad. Loving them hopes for the best….instead of dwelling on the bad. Loving them patiently endures during the times it feels hopeless. Loving them means that my love will never fail them. They will always have my love.
God then tells me the place this love is to have in my life above all other things. Prophecies will come and go. Words will come and go. Knowledge is here and new, and then it fades away. Then, God gives me one more little piece of advice. He tells me that when I was a child, I spoke childish, I had limited understanding about things, and my thoughts were childish. But, as a grown up, I am to put all that away and not be childish.
I am afraid that many times, I act childish with my children. I don’t try to understand, I speak harshly and without thought and I hurt their feelings. I don’t like it when they do wrong because it is a great embarrassment to me and they are hurting my appearance. I react to them instead of respond to the situation. God is warning me that if I say I love my kids, but act childish, they will not see the love.
I think much about my children having faith, and I want my children to have hope and be able to trust me, but the greatest thing that I can bestow to my children is my love – God’s interpretation of it and not mine. If I show them my love, I have shown them my God.