Reading: 1 Corinthians 13
Love. We love all kinds of things. We say we love our husbands and our children. We also say we love chocolate. I'm about to tell you something I have told no one. I think I might love chocolate more than my husband. I think I might love chocolate more than my children. In fact I think I might love chocolate more than anything else in the world. I hide chocolate and save chocolate just for me. Those little bits of heaven take a bad day and make it all better. Sometimes I crave chocolate above all things. My desire to consume chocolate makes me deny the consequences it will have on my body if I swallow it up. Is this truly love, or just infatuation? The fact is I'd like to feel this way about the most important people in my life. It's much easier to love chocolate than the imperfect people I live with. How do I keep loving those who can be unlovable? What does God say about love?
We know that God commands us to love one another because He is love. 1 John 4:7-8 says, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." I think its nice to know that because I know God and He is love I have and endless supply of love flowing through him into me. Even if I don't feel very loving, I can still act in love because I am born of God, know God, and God is love.
I want to be the kind of wife and mom that is motivated to action by love. Sometimes I am motivated by necessity. If I don't make dinner no one else will. We have to eat to live, so I prepare dinner because it is necessary for us to eat. Sometimes I am motivated by guilt. I might say, "yes" instead of "no" to my husband tonight because I have said "no" three times in a row this week not including the nights he didn't even bother to proposition me.Sometimes I'm motivated by selfishness. I do things to appease the masses so that I can have a few minutes of quite. I don't want to be motivated by necessity, guilt, or selfishness. I want to act because I truly love my family with a sincere love.
1 Corinthians 13 starts out by telling us why it is important to love. Verse one says, "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." Do you ever feel like your family doesn't listen to you? I do. This verse says I could speak in any language in the universe, but if I speak without love it only sounds like a bunch of noise. Last time the power went out at our house I was astonished by how silent the world became. We operate with noise around us all the time and don't even pay attention to it. I don't want my words to fade into a bunch of noise in my house. I want to be heard by my family. I have to learn to speak with love.
Verse two is even more interesting. It says, "If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but I have not love, I am nothing." Do you ever get the urge to say, "I told you so." I think my way is always the best way. If people would just listen to me all tasks would be done better and faster. Verse two says I can be right about everything and know the perfect way to do anything, but if I don't have love all that knowledge is worthless.
Verse three is the hardest lesson to learn. "If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." I feel like I make a lot of sacrifices for my family. I sacrifice time, energy, money, even myself for their benefit. This verse says I could even sacrifice my own life, but if I don't have love, it's all worthless. I don't want the sacrifices I make on a daily basis to be worthless. Those sacrifices cost me something. I want the cost to be valuable.I must learn to love like God would want me to love.
I am beginning a series on love. I hope we can all learn how to love like God wants us to love and reflect more of him in the process.