In an effort to be more purposeful in loving my kids, I read through 1 Corinthians 13 and tried to apply those specific characteristics of godly love to our daily lives. I am so convicted by all the ways I need to improve, but this exercise provides me with tangible goals for this week. How does 1 Corinthian 13 love look in your family? Here’s how it looks in ours:
If my kids know Latin roots for every word and can diagram sentences in 3 languages, and they can even spout off dozens of scripture verses…but they don’t speak to each other kindly, then I’m promoting learning over loving.
If we chart historic events on timelines and analyze how they relate to current events, but that process doesn’t create a burning desire to introduce other souls to the Author of history – then our colorful charts are useless information.
If my kids grow up hoping to become influential mountain-movers, and they actually think God uses people to move mountains for any reason other than His glory, then I’m only raising self-inflated, egotistical dreamers.
If I throw myself into a dozen “ministries” in the name of setting a good example to my children, yet my good deeds leave my family in second place, sapping me of strength to love them well – then the model I’m creating is harmful.
Love explains fractions one more time; this time with a visual aid…and a smile instead of a scowl.
Love isn’t jealous of the mom who has a cleaner house, better clothes, or more vacation time.
Love doesn’t demand constant quiet, a cup of Starbucks, and “me time” to pursue hobbies.
Love doesn’t give a child the silent treatment and withhold dessert because of the temper fit he threw during grammar lessons 8 hours ago.
Love doesn’t lash out at the kid who just pointed out my obvious flaw. Love rejoices in the opportunity to yield my freshly-highlighted, sinful habit to the Lord.
Love never wishes away the stage of development my kid is in, never doubts that God will see him through it, remains confidently hopeful that his tantrum won’t prevent him from being a godly man one day. Love always speaks truth to him in that moment so that hope might become reality.
Highly-decorated, immaculate houses, perfectly toned abs and non-flabby arms, trendy wardrobes, and fulfilled personal ambitions hold very little eternal value.
But the souls of my children, and the impact of the lives I teach them to lead, will live on forever.