February 08, 2014

Love Keeps Going To The End by Ruth L. Snyder

 I am very familiar with the "love chapter" - I Corinthians 13. I've heard sermons about it, I've read it, and I've also memorized it. Do I live by it?

Most people see me as a very patient person. I have a confession to make. Sometimes I'm VERY impatient, especially with my children. It's easy to "love" my children when they are obedient. Who doesn't appreciate a child who is helpful, does what you say, and tells you he or she loves you? Sometimes my children are like that, but often they are not. What happens when I've told my child to pick up her toys and she looks at me and stomps her foot? What about a son who chooses to eat cookies half an hour before supper, even though I told him to wait? How do I deal with a child who uses urine and feces to "get even" with me?

1 Corinthians 13 tells me that love NEVER fails. Love keeps going to the end. Obviously, my human love DOES fail. I run out of steam. I get frustrated and angry. I feel upset. I don't feel like hugging my child and telling him I love him. I don't feel like being consistent. I don't feel like staying calm.

That's where God's love steps in - true love that never ends. Love is a choice, not a feeling. I may feel upset that my daughter is refusing to clean up, but I can firmly remind her what's expected and count down to encourage her to be obedient. I may feel frustrated that my son ate the cookies, but I can repeat what I expect and give him a logical consequence - no dessert. I may feel angry that my son has soiled himself, the second time today, but I can choose to quietly tell him to have a bath and clean his clothes. Along with being consistent and responding appropriately, I can choose to tell my child I love him or her.

I want my children to grow up knowing that I love them. I want them to know that no matter what they do, or what they say, I will always love them. God does not base His love for us on our obedience, so neither should I. There may be tears. I may have to give myself a time-out. I will definitely have to choose to forgive. But in the end, with God's help, I will choose to love my children to the end.

What about you? Which one of the characteristics of love do you struggle with and how are you allowing God to change you?

Check out more of Ruth's writing at http://ruthlsnyder.com


  1. So appreciate these words today. thank-you. Strange how our perspective of love changes and grows with time.

  2. Janet, you're welcome. Fortunately God is patient with us and continues to help our love '"change and grow" :)

  3. We are all less than perfect, even if we are God's adopted children and his heirs--joint heirs with Christ. Thank you for sharing some of your ups and downs as a parent, because we can all identify.

    Thanks for reminding us that love is a choice, that true love never ends, and that God's love is not dependent on our obedience.

    May God bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you.

  4. Thanks for your encouragement, Sharon :)

  5. Good message, Ruth. Love takes patience and finesse. Your examples are of a relationship where you're in authority. You ask what other kinds of love we struggle with.
    1. Loving a peer when you're both struggling for the upper hand.
    2. Loving someone in authority over me who (in my opinion) isn't behaving well, but it's not my position to bring it up.
    # 1 takes work. #2, well, that's when I remind myself that God knows the situation and I have to wait for him to work it out. Easier said than done, though. :)

  6. Thanks for being open and honest about your feelings. It's easy to become overwhelmed with all the challenges of raising children. Even the little things can seem rather large at times and when we add them all up at the end of the day they've suddenly formed a mountain. Remembering God is there for us in all circumstances isn't always easy.
    Great writing!

  7. Bobbi, thanks for sharing other kinds of love you struggle with. May we continue to allow God's love to flow in us and through us.
    Vickie, thanks for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment. I'm finding more and more that life is full of choices. I'm glad I don't have to tackle anything without God!

  8. Love isn't always the natural reaction. As a public school teacher, there are some students that are just difficult to love... I find myself exasperated, impatient, frustrated far too frequently (and sometimes even show it! Look out!) Recently I lost my cool and exploded in front of the class. I took a moment to 'breathe' in the hallway and then went back in and unequivocally apologized. It didn't matter what THEY were doing - in the end I am the adult; I am the professional. It's at times like these that I have to ask God to help me LOVE these kids, because all the 'head' knowledge means nothing in the end without a sense of self worth, respect and love.

  9. Glad you have Jesus in your life.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  10. Tracy,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Bravo for humbling yourself and making things right. I'm sure you gained respect from your class because of it. You're right. We can know all the right things to do, but we still have to choose to allow God to love others through us.

  11. Ruth,
    Transparency is a type of love. You are being transparent here showing that we are human and working towards the goal. I know I yelled a lot at my kids but I loved them too. Now that they are grown they are loved and loveable. In everything there is one thing - that is love.
    Blessings to you,
    Janis www.janiscox.com

  12. Janis, thanks for your encouragement and perspective from "the other side" :) I appreciate your support.

  13. So glad we're all in this together, that we are family, and we can nod our heads and say "yes, yes" when you say that although you have yelled at your kids, you still love them! Ah, big sigh of relief - I'm with you!



  14. Me encantan las fotografías, son geniales. Ha estado un regalo el visitar tu bloc, te invito visitar el mio y si te gusta espero que te hagas seguidora.


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