Monday, November 17, 2008

Love in the home

More love has been the tug on my heart in recent weeks. This post on Heart of the Matter that talks about showing love for our families brought this to the forefront of my thoughts once again.

I know I love my kids, but how much do the day's events prove that truth?

I prayed for God to pour His love through me. We spent the last month studying this fruit of the Spirit during morning Bible time. We memorized verses (Gal 5:22, 23; I John 4:7,8; John 13:34, 35; I Corinthians 13:4) and each day read passages that showed us God's love.

One week we read through I John a chapter a day.

The next week I Corinthians 13, Galatians 5, and John 3.

Then we looked through John chapters 12-16.

We wrapped up with a week in various Scriptures that gave greater insight into love.

I mentioned this a bit when meditating on Matthew 11:28-30 as my verse of the week, but I have been thinking more about the difference between selflessness and love and asking myself some tough questions. I Corinthians 13 inspired these:

Why do I give to those less fortunate? Is it truly out of love?

Does my love for my children manifest itself in patience and kindness?

Do I set aside love and instead allow myself to be provoked at times?

Even as I prayed and engulfed myself in Scripture I longed for greater love to show my family. I asked my husband to pray for me in this area. I wanted to love my children with joy and sincerity, to feel that longing for them, not just caring for them as duty called. God has gently transformed my heart.

He has shown me His love in a whole new way. He is amazing. If God owns our hearts He can change anything in our lives. It was amazing to almost sit back and watch Him work.

He gives me joy,
He supplants the drudgery with love,
He brings springs of tenderness where they had run dry,
He opens my eyes to what had been there all along.

I love my children and husband, but in order for them to feel it, I must feel it, too. I sometimes struggle with the teaching that love is an action. While I agree that true love is not just a whispy emotion that stirs up butterflies, it is far more than a decision of faithfulness or days of duty filled diligence.

Love must flow and feel, it must rejoice and sparkle. And, when it loses that luster, we must remain rooted in the Creator of Love, Love Himself and let Him pour through us His deep, deep love.

How do you keep the balance of action and emotion alive in your love?

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