Monday, August 16, 2010

LOVE. The Greatest Commandment.

Jesus replied, "'Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, 'Love your neighbor as yourself'. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40

There are ten commandments that God has given us. Yet, when Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus said "Love". Of all the commandments we have been given, Love is the one God considers the greatest.

I love my kids. I have always wanted children and I pray that God will bless us with more. I absolutely LOVE children! At least I thought I did, until I read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 a little more closely.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Currently, I am reading the book Crazy Love. The last chapter I read, the author, Francis Chan, asked us to replace the word Love with our name. So, Tracy is patient, Tracy is kind. Tracy does not envy... You get the picture. It is when I put my name in the place of the word love that I realize that I do not love my children, my husband, or anyone else like God commands me to.

I am not always patient with my husband and my children. My words and responses to my husband and children is not always kind. I really have to do a lot of self-reflecting when I can't get past the first two definitions of love and I fail.

Looking back at the verse in Matthew. Do I love my neighbor as I love myself? The answer, sadly, no. If I don't love my husband and children the way God commands me too, then I am certain that I am also not loving my neighbor as God commands me to.

My children are young. It is my prayer that while they are young, I can change and model the way God commands us to love so that when they grow up they will model the way God commands us to love. I will teach them the verse in Matthew and the verses in 1 Corinthians. I will have them memorize them too. But, unless I am modeling that behavior, my teaching will be useless. It will just be words.

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