If I speak with love and kindness to strangers and friends, but do not speak those same sweet words to my own children, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I mentor and disciple every friend who questions, and if I unveil the loveliness of Jesus to co-workers and walk in great faith among my church peers, but do not take time to discover Jesus with my children and stand in faith with them, I am nothing.
If I serve the needy and sacrifice everything for ministry and acts of kindness, but I do not serve my own children and display how Jesus came to serve, then I gain nothing.
A Mother’s love is patient.
A Mother’s love is kind.
Her love does not envy the lives of those around her, Her love does not boast in her accomplishments, and it is not conceited.
A Mother’s love does not act improperly. A Mother’s love is not selfish.
Her love is not provoked by her children’s misbehavior, and it does not keep a record of their wrongs.
A Mother’s love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.
A Mother’s love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I searched a bit and found another mom moved by this chapter:
Lately, my daily mantra has become “children are a blessing from the Lord.”
This comes after multiple Facebook updates that included things like “Sometimes I don’t like being a parent” and “kids–ARGH!” or “kids…sigh.” You see, it is not always easy to believe that children are a blessing from the Lord. It is much easier (for some–that includes me) to believe they are a burden. And sometimes it seems much more certain that they are indeed a curse.
Trying to get out the door for any type of prearranged meeting = burden.
Trying to get three kids ready for bed so you can actually rest = burden.
Cooking a delicious supper only to be told “oooo…yuck” = burden.
Taking three kids to the grocery store where they proceed to turn into miniature octopi = curse.
Don’t get me wrong. I desperately love my children. I stand by their beds at night and marvel at their innocence and wonder and their endless imaginations. I love it when they slip their small hand into mine as we walk down the street. I melt a little when they say “I love you, Mommy.” And I savor their complete belief that I am the most attractive, talented, and skilled woman on the face of the earth. They are so smart. 😉 But they are not easy, and they don’t come with an OFF switch. Man, they don’t even come with a manual. They come naked and hungry, and my work is clearly laid out before me–clothe and feed. Simple enough.
As hard as those early years are with newborns and toddlers, which I am SO THANKFUL are over, nothing prepares you for the increasing list of needs that now accompanies your child. I still clothe and feed, but it’s no longer simply clothes and milk. I dress her broken heart that has been laid bare by harsh words at school. I nurture self-esteem when he feels he can’t do anything right. I carefully choose the right outfit of words so that my youngest doesn’t feel exposed by my lack of sensitivity. I prepare meals of experience so they learn to marvel at God’s creation and His sustenance. It takes an enormous amount of energy.
All of which I don’t have enough.
And that’s the point isn’t it. I DON’T have enough. But I know a God who does, and His mercies are new each day. His Grace is sufficient for every need. He will supply my lack. Oh, how hard it is to remember that. How hard it is to think the truth. To always keep before me the absolute truth that my children are a blessing–given to my by God. A Blessing.
WOW. There’s a lot more to talk about based on that definition. But right now, I’m determined to believe that Children are a blessing from the Lord. Ps. 127:3
Almost weekly, my little girl meticulously cuts out paper hearts, writes the name of a classmate on the inside followed by a simple sentence and simple question: “I like you. Will you be my friend?”
And she puts it out there. Hands it to her fellow 1st grader, innocently hopeful, desperate for a kind reply.
Last year, she struggled with finding friends, claiming that once they “connected,” after a little while “they would break away” and “unconnect.” And I watched her simple, little paper heart fall crumpled to the ground. But every day, every week, every month of that year, she picked it up again, smoothed out the wrinkles, and tried handing to the next little girl or little boy.
I cried for her.
She cried, too.
This year is better. She has friends, and she is a loyal friend–wanting to share her life with each one, holding nothing back. She prays for them at night, big prayers. She prays that they will have wisdom. She prays that they will choose good friends. She prays that they will know right from wrong. She prays that they will love Jesus.
Oh, her heart! It is so big and so full of love and goodness. I want to protect it, keep it safe from all of those people and all of those classmates who toss it around carelessly.
But perhaps she knows better than I that a heart is no good if it’s caged up and away from everyone. Perhaps she knows that her God can bind up the broken-hearted–