Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Student of Love

Sweet, little Aiden. My 22 month old toddler and I snuggle down into mama's bed for a nap. This is our afternoon ritual, just him and me. His tiny body nestled into the crook on mine. It never takes all that long before his breathing slows, his eyelids lead, and he drifts into sleep.

I was tired today. I scooted him over to his own pillow. I lay on my side, facing him. He's still such a baby. With seven other children, coordinating a full hour for a nap (or dare I say it? two...) can be very difficult. I silently pray God will bless our home with one sweet hour of quiet. Peace.

As I take in Aiden's sweet baby face, I breathe this prayer, "Lord, help me to love my children."

The Spirit of God begins to flood my mind. Scripture after scripture, wave upon wave. He ministers to my heart... Love is patient. Longsufferring. Kind. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Older women, teach the younger to... love their children.

At this point, you might be wondering where all this is coming from. "Of course I love my children," you may be thinking. But God differentiated something in my mind today while I gazed at little Aiden, and that is this: The love we are commanded in scripture to have for our children is not simply natural affection. If that were the case, older women would not have anything to teach younger ones, because nearly every mother has that kind of love for their children. Affection. Feelings. An instinct to protect.

The love scripture talks about is not just something we feel, it is something we do. It is something we need to learn. It does not come naturally. The Bible says that God IS love. And that love is from God. We need Him to teach us about this God-love, how to apply it to our precious ones. Our husbands. Our children.

I am praying God will teach me to love my family with this love.

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