Moms and Dads,
I just came home from speaking to a group of parents. The talk’s topic was kindness. My husband loves it when I speak on the 2nd characteristic of love from 1st Corinthians 13 because it ups my game at home. I am the first to admit, I can get sloppy when it comes to loving my family well.
Do you have the same struggle?
Rather than raising my interaction bar for my loved ones, I am more likely to drop my standards for my family.
I realize I cannot love the way my heavenly Father loves me but… in my weakness… I can pray for His love to flow out of me.
God does some of his best work in the most impossible circumstances. This gives me hope that I can love better because God loves perfectly.
Our family members are created in God’s image yet we (by we I mean me) can we treat them badly. Criticism, ungratefulness, annoyance, and unforgiveness are all things that can a fester in a family. We don’t want this. I don’t want this. I believe most of us want our families to exude and extend love to each other.
So… let’s take the beautiful thoughts from 1st Corinthians 13 and craft them into a parent’s prayer to love the way the Lord loves.
I don’t want to be superficial and idolize things like prestige, position, power, or popularity. I want to be a person who exudes love and seeks to glorify You in the process. I don’t want to say the right things or do the Christian things without the right heart. I desire to be a parent who talks and acts with tenderness motivated by love. Love for my kids. Love for my spouse. Love for You.
In Your Word You define love as patient and kind. I confess I am often impatient and unkind. Forgive me. Put a guard over my mouth so I can speak life. I want to verbalize blessings to my kids and to my spouse.
Lord, when I start comparing my life to others remind me that love isn’t envious, boastful, or proud. Replace my self-centered tendencies with contentment, humility, and unselfishness.
Help me to see others through Your eyes. Remind me that they are created in Your image so: I am able to demonstrate respect, especially in the difficult moments; act in peace, even when anger wants to consume me; extend forgiveness when bitterness creeps into my heart.
Father, give me a heavenly perspective so I wisely discern goodness and truth over evil and error. Provide your strength so I may persevere. Nudge me toward hope because You are trustworthy. Give me faith motivated by the knowledge that You are good. With You, I can tackle the small and large struggles life holds.
Help me to think, talk, and reason like an adult. Remind me that kids think, talk, and reason like kids. I want to see my children clearly so I can parent them the way You would have me raise them.
Your love never fails. Your love is eternal. Your love is the greatest love of all.
Please give me a heart that loves like Jesus.
Happy Valentines Day, friends.
With faith, hope, and love,
By Lori Wildenberg
Wife to Tom
Mom of 4
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
Co-author of three parenting books, national speaker, parent consultant
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Be watching for Lori’s 4th book and first solo endeavor Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home to be released May 2017.