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