Love is Not
Now that we’ve seen one practical way we show our children love, let’s talk for a minute about what love is not. Modern society has so many mixed up views on love. This has affected how we treat each other, how we view ourselves, and how we view God. But let us remember that God is love (1 John 4:16) and what He says about love is the truth.
In 1 Corinthians 13, we see the definition of love. Verse 5 states, “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” If you’re like me, then you place a neat little check mark next to this item on your motherly love list. Of course you aren’t making a list of the wrongs from your children to use as fodder later. Of course you aren’t making sure you get even for every instance your child hurts your feelings or disobeys you. That would be silly since they are little humans who are growing and learning how to interact with others, primarily with their family. Of course you love them. Of course you keep no record of wrongs.
But then I think of the seemingly never ending questions that my boys raise. What is my reaction when my child asks a question? What about the third time in three minutes? What about the 30th time in 30 minutes? After each question and each why, are you like me and your frustration builds and erupts in anger? How loving does that sound Is this keeping no records or wrongs?
Keeping a record of wrongs does not only refer to a long term grudge, but also the response to the wrong committed five seconds ago. Keeping a record of wrongs can refer to an annoyance from 15 minutes past. Keeping a record of wrongs includes reminding your child of the past 25 times you gave them instructions that they still haven’t followed. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love treats each instance like the first infraction. Love pursues peace and not payback.
So the next time your child needs to be told seven times to put on their shoes in the morning, remember that Jesus said we are to forgive our brothers seventy times seven times (Matthew 18:22). So if need be you repeat those instructions 490 times without keeping a record of wrongs for their selective hearing or disobedient actions. In doing this, remember that you are treating them with love just as our Heavenly Father treats us each time He needs to gently remind us of His will and ways.
Don’t worry, I am preaching to my own heart here. So often I get caught up in the time wasted or the repetitive annoyances that comes with mothering three young boys. But there is beauty in the mundane and God is glorified in the monotony. So hopefully the next time my child asks me the exact same question for the third time in three minutes, I’ll remember to respond in love and to keep no records of wrongs.