My kids are just that; kids. They are rambunctious, rebellious at times and full of energy that cannot be contained. They drive their mother and I up the wall. We get frustrated with them. Our patience is pushed to the limits. We sometimes find ourselves raising our voices, taking privileges away and grounding them. Some days are easier than others when it comes to dealing with three (almost) teenagers.
Even when they are at their worst, we still love them with all of our hearts.
I have known many kids from my past who were literally beaten for being rebellious. Not a rebellion like stealing an old lady’s purse, just a little no-no like picking on a brother or sister. I once knew a woman who went out in public with her two boys wearing a leather belt around her neck. If things were to get out of hand in her eyes, the whipping would take place. I was staying with the two brothers that day, and the trip to the grocery was an experience that is burned into my memory. Were these boys really that bad?
That’s not normal. That’s not love. That’s abuse.
There is something that I have noticed within the Church. Some of us believe that unless we beat ourselves into submission by staying in line, God will reject us. As if we are walking a ‘fine line’ that if once crossed, we will end up deep within the pits of hell.
Well, where is that line determined?
Love is defined and explained in many ways throughout Scripture. It is patient. Kind.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV)
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:10 (NIV)
And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63:3-4 (NIV)
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11 (NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
2 Peter 1:5-7 (NIV)
There is so much love being expressed through the words that were written. The Word is love. The message of His great love for us should continuously be written on the heart of every believer. May we not forget His greatest confirmation of the love that He has for us…
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)
He died for us. For you. For me. How much love one must have in their being to lay down their life for someone! Would you die for your child? I believe that most would say that they would.
My children aren’t even my blood, but they are so precious to me. They have been a part of my life for several years, and I could never just walk away from them. I could not stop loving them. The love that I have for them is just a minute fraction of the way our Lord loves us. In fact, the way that we understand love is not even close to the way He loves. Agape love. The purest form that only He is capable of. Not emotional love, Spiritual love. His way. What He is; LOVE.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but looking at the Bible before the fulfillment that was made through the blood of Christ makes the God of all creation look like a killer. A taker of life. Violent. Not so loving. He is directing people to do some pretty heinous acts. He destroys. He renews. He takes away. He punishes. It’s mysterious. I do know that without the days old, the new could not come (Jesus). The new. The new way that we should live. In Him. We should abide in Him. Walk with Him. Love with Him. Listen to Him. Breathe Him. Acknowledge Him. He is the way, the truth and the life that was sent into the world to guide us into a place that will keep us in a walk of contentment as we live through this world of sin. He is the love example that we should follow.
A relationship with a man who is the definition of love, forgiveness, peace and mercy is what we should seek. If we could just focus of Him, and His fruits, we could surely see the love that He has to express within us and within the lives in which we live.
But the fruit of the Spirit (HIS SPIRIT) is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
We are rambunctious, rebellious at times and full of energy that cannot be contained. We drive ourselves and others up the wall. We get frustrated with others, and ourselves. We are a bunch of big kids. We can listen to our Lord, or we can take a road that leads to destruction. His direction is within The Word, and within us. If we allow ourselves to seek His Spirit, He will always guide us in the right direction. If we have accepted Him as Lord, I just cannot believe that He would ever walk away from His kids. I just cannot believe that He is waiting to beat me into submission after expressing such love.
Let us strive to be a witness to His love. Let us remember how much He loves us as we continue to fail Him.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)