Sunday, September 7, 2014
Project - Be Love
Love is a Choice.
I said this to my girl after she had an argument with her brother. She expressed her disagreement with this statement, insisting it was something you feel. I explained that it can be something you feel but it is also something you choose in the hard moments when your feelings tell you to rage, to yell, to tear down or to cut up with your words. I explained that what she says impacts her brother in some deep and significant ways. I had recently read an article about how a mother explained to her daughter; that what her daughter says to her sister may matter even more then what they, as parents, say. And that her sister's self esteem can be easily built up or torn down with her words. I explain this to my girl but she doesn't want that responsibility, I can see it in her eyes, in her face. It is weighty. I know that talking to her about all this is good but teaching her to live it, walk it and breathe it is better. We talked some more and I asked how Christ showed His love. She responded that He died on the cross for her sin. I dig deeper with her. I ask her if she thinks Jesus felt like like dying that day? She shakes her head - she knows He asked for this task to be removed from Him while He prayed that evening in the garden. But He did His Father's will and He died for us with great love. It was a choice. I press further, what is His will for us?? A question was asked of Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40 "Teacher. what is the greatest commandment in the law?" He replied "Love The Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: 'love your neighbour as yourself', all the law and prophets hang on these two commandments." These words were put to the test that day at the cross when Jesus enacted and became love for us when He died. She shakes her head and says: "Well, can he (her brother) treat me badly then?" I say "No, he can't. Love doesn't mean you don't have boundaries. Forgiveness and turning the other cheek doesn't mean you ignore bad behaviour or explain it away. It means you love them to forgiveness, hold them accountable and then work together to repair what is broken. Christ does that too, in His relationship with us, it's the message of His word! He loves us to forgiveness. He doesn't let us off the hook, He still calls us to account but also provides a way back to Him to repair what had been broken." I can see she understands this on an elementary level but she needs to work on how she responds - we all need to work on how we respond. It will be difficult and require patient teaching. A family needs to be a safe haven for this growth not a hindrance to it. It is our responsibility to provide this haven and security by both our example and by our teaching. To come along side of them to spur them on to good - the good message of the gospel.
As I prayed about all of this I felt The Lord drawing me towards teaching them how to really love each other, with 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 as our foundation for the framework of love. I have called it: 'Project - Be Love. It is obvious that if all the law and prophets hang on these commandments of loving God and others then we need to lean into God's understanding of love, to find out what exactly that entails; what it really and truly means. He hasn't hid that understanding from us, it's all in His precious word. Scripture indicates that love isn't all flowers and roses, it is hard and painstaking work, at times. It IS a choice - one of the greatest kind. Jesus' death clearly shows us that.
So, on Monday morning we start Project - Be Love. I have a few ideas about what that will look like over the next several weeks. It will certainly begin with the memorization of 1 Corinthians 13:1-13. When we have scripture firmly lodged in our minds, the more likely we are to recall it when we need it the most. It will involve a deeper study of the scriptures as we take each thought in that passage and compare it to other parts of scripture for clarification, for understanding and for wisdom. It will also involve each of us submitting to one another, being accountable to each other for the way we choose to love and being very intentional about it.
I will be blogging about it each week. I trust that God will bless this journey, give us insight and understanding and I believe He will do great things.
Posted by Cindy at 3:51 PM