A very popular verse in the Bible begins with Love is. I've read it and heard it many times, but never broke it down, and pieced it apart to really meditate on what exactly each word would look like in my life.
Love is patient. Patience is waiting until later for what I want now. Sounds like something I really want my children to know, but do I reflect patience on a daily basis? Do I wait patiently while little hands and feet move slowly climbing in the car? Do I wait patiently for my husband to finish his shower while we're getting ready for church? Do I wait patiently for God as He works in my life on things I think should be done with and moving on to something more exciting? Do I let Him mold my character in order to show my children this virtue I wish to instill in them? Simple truth: if I love, I am patient.
Love is kind. Kind is of a friendly, gentle, warm-hearted nature. Am I friendly to my children while teaching them new things? Am I friendly when asking them to clean up their mess for the third time today? Am I gentle with their hearts and the heart of my husband? Do I reflect the kindness God shows throughout His Word in order to show us His love? If I love, I am kind.
Love does not envy. Envy is a feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another. Am I genuinely happy for others when they have something I would like? Am I content with all God has provided for me? If I love, I do not envy.
Love does not boast. To boast is to glorify oneself in speech; talk in a self-admiring way. To speak of with excessive pride. Do I find the things I have or the way we do things are better than others? When I speak to my husband, and I just know I'm right, do I boast, and make myself glorified because my way could be the only possible way? If I love, I do not boast.
Love is not proud. Another word for pride. Am I too proud to face the fact that pride is in my life, and affects others in my daily walk? Do I want to be seen as a "got it together" mom only to make friends feel inadequate?
Do I put my husband or children down for not cleaning or homeschooling the way I would have it done? If I love, I am not proud.
Love is not rude. Rude is ill-mannered; discourteous. Is there ever a time that I put my family down with the tone of my voice or the expression on my face? Are they (my tone and expression) ever ill mannered? Are they courteous? If I love, I am not rude.
Love is not self seeking.Self seeking is only being concerned with oneself. How concerned am I with what I want, how I want my family to be, or even how I feel in that moment? Does it line up with God, and is it what's best for my family? If I love, I am not selfish.
Love is not easily angered. How long does it take to push my buttons? What pushes my buttons and how often does it lead me to anger? If I love, I am not easily angered.
Love keeps no record of wrongs. How long do I hang on to past wrongs? How often do I bring them up? How bitter is that making me, and others? And how often do I show forgiveness? If I love, I keep no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil. May sound a little silly, but there are what some christians call "respectbale sins." Anger, gossip, movies with bad language, music that doesn't bear any fruit, attitudes that don't glorify God. All of those are not of God and don't glorify Him. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Do I in any way delight in evil? If I love, I do not delight in evil.
Love always protects. To keep safe. Do I keep my family safe from the evil lurking outside? Do I cover them with truth, with His word? Do I protect their hearts? If I love, I always protect.
Love always trusts. Do I give my life and my children to God, trusting that He loves them more than I do? Do I let others I love take them out, care for them trusting that they love and care for my children enough. Do I let my husband have friends and go out with them without question? Do I give others reasons to trust me? Trust that my yes is my yes, and my no is my no? If I love, I trust.
Love always hopes. To hope is to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. Do I have hope in my marriage, my children, God? Do I help give them hope and encouragement. Do I show others hope and encouragement? If I love, I hope.
Love always perseveres. To refuse to stop. Even when I don't feel like loving, even when others have done me wrong, or worn me down. Do I give up, or do I refuse to stop. If I love, I persevere.
Love Never Fails
1 Corinthians 13:4