Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First comes LOVE...

In this cold and dreary February the talk is about love. It is everywhere you look.

Every first grader has a notebook that they bring home once a week. The child writes a letter and the parent writes a letter in response. This week Maleah wrote a letter about her valentines party. I noticed as we were making her valentines that she paid particular attention to the stickers that she applied to each 'tine. I think partly because she is reading now and partly because she is beginning to discover what this thing called love really is.

I took some time in her letter this week to let her know that there are lots of different kinds of love. The biggest and best kind, being God's love for us.

This is real love.
It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us...
1 John 4:10

I told her that He loved us so much that He sent Jesus, his one and only Son, to die for us. That is so much more than any parent I know could bear. What an amazing and powerful sacrifice!

Unlike the mattress I will strap to my son's back the minute he begins to play football, there is no lock and key for my daughter's human heart. It will undoubtedly get stomped on, squeezed tight, left alone, or broken more than once in her life. I just hope and pray that she will always remember that the Lord's love for her, and that it will never fade. Love is the essence of God. Love is what motivates Him to do what He does for - down to the last detail - even when we don't love Him in return. Knowing that should give tremendous meaning to our lives. God's unconditional love for us should motivate us to love others unconditionally. Love isn't even an option. We are commanded by God to love others.

A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 13:34

Dear Lord,
Help me teach my children that unconditional love comes only from our Heavenly Father. I want them to know that God does not help us because we deserve it; He helps us because He loves us. I pray that they find their self-worth in God's unconditional love for them, not in their accomplishments. I want them to know that loving God is the greatest thing that they can do.

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