“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
What else would I do differently if I could go back to my early days of mothering? I would memorize 1 Corinthians 13 sooner and pray for God’s grace to take things less personally:
- The “oversights” and “blunders” that are simply a husband thinking like a man instead of like a woman. He’s not trying to hurt me. He’s just different than me.
- The furrowed brow and the little hand that reaches out just one more time to touch the “no-no”. He’s not trying to drive me crazy. He’s a sinner. He’s doing what comes naturally. He’s finding out who’s in charge. He needs God, and he needs me to teach him.
- That ankle-eating grocery cart that got me again. My eager helper didn’t plan to injure me. He was just keeping his baby sister entertained while he pushed the cart for (and into) me.
- The dirty footprints all over the finally just-mopped kitchen floor, left by precious children that are still just that – children. They usually don’t even see dirt. They’re not trying to make more work for me. They’ll learn to take off their shoes eventually.
- The barefaced lies of a little one caught “in the act”. She doesn’t think I’m stupid or blind. Foolishness is just bound up in her childish, fallen heart, and part of my job is to work with the Holy Spirit to weed out that foolishness.
- The tantrum in front of that mother, the one who has it “all together”. He’s really not trying to make me look like a failure, and she doesn’t have it all together nearly as much as I think. God’s just using his sin to confront me with my own sinful pride.
- The forging of their own style – clothing, décor, music. God made them unique. They’re not my clones – thank God! They’re not rejecting me when they like something that pleases God but doesn’t particularly please me.
- The complaints about math or grammar or any other school subject they don’t happen to like. They’re not trying to make my job harder. They’re still learning – math or grammar and how to do something they don’t like and to do it cheerfully.
- The hurtful words, spoken in haste, just as I have often spoken before I have taken time to think. They don’t hate me. God is using them to help me see myself.
- Their “other plans” that simply mean they are growing up and living their own lives.They aren’t abandoning me. Their lives just don’t revolve around me.
“Love is patient and kind…It does not insist on its own way…Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
How often have I sinned by assuming the motives of others? How often have I sinned in my impatience, making an issue of something that was simply immaturity or carelessness? How often have I sinned because I simply want things my way? And how often have I made things worse by forgetting that when my children do sin, they are ultimately sinning against God?
I must continually plead for God’s grace and strength to wage war against this stinkin’ old sin nature. There’s hope for me, because Jesus purchased that hope on the cross. If I just keep looking to Him, He will — over time — conform me to His image.
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