I have been contemplating the Bible verses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Whether or not you believe in God, I am sure you have heard these verses.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Wow! I have been meditating on these verses lately. Not because I am so loving and good. Not because I am giving out this kind of love. But these verses have been on my mind because when I read them recently something occurred to me. This is how I am supposed to love. And who do I love most? It isn't the other mothers at Jack's preschool who I would never speak to rudely. It isn't the the checkout girl at Target who is going super slow and yet I push down the anger. And while I am supposed to love my neighbors, it isn't with them that I struggle the most to demonstrate these verses.
My greatest loves live right here in my house. And yet, I fail more often to love them the way 1 Corinthians commands. And so in continuing my theme of being mindful this year, I want to live 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as I interact with my family.
To be patient when my children are refusing to get dressed without a fuss. To be kind when they wake up at 6:00 a.m. and I still crave another hour of sleep. To not be jealous that my husband gets 20 minutes on the drive to and from work without another person in the car. To not boast about my accomplishments when I know my husband is having a struggle. To not be too proud to say I am sorry when I fail miserably at all of the above.
To not be rude when I am asked for something I do not want to give. And the toughest by far, to not be easily angered when I am challenged in this job of mothering young children. To not bring up a long past resentment in a new argument.
To not take pleasure in gossip or meanness. To honor what is right even when it is hard, oh so hard, to do. To take seriously my role as the heart of my home. To love fully with perseverance and grace.
Because while we are called to love the world. We will love the world like we love in our home. And more importantly our children will love the world like they see us love.