“May the Lord flood you with an unending, undying love for one another and for all humanity, like our love for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 3:12
Living back home with my parents has been a hard transition. When I was in college I had privacy, my own space, nobody else to answer to. Now, my parents are (in my opinion) on my back all the time – they always want to know where I am, what my plan is, why I’m in my room, etc. Since living at home, I have acquired my boyfriend Matt (he’s been a family friend for years but we’ve now been dating a year and a half). Having a boyfriend has not made living here any easier – its made it worse. At the age of 25, I feel like I am treated like an 18 year old. If I’m out with him late, the next day my mom will scrutinize me and make assumptions that we were not “making good choices”. She’ll make off hand comments to myself and to her coworkers/peers/our family members, saying that I’m going to get pregnant and I better get on the pill. She would make off hand comments about him and about his family. If I would spend too much time at his parents house (which was where he lived at the time), she would get mad and say things like “you should just move in with them” and “I bet they let ya’ll have sex over there” and things like that. Mind you, I have never given her any reason not to trust me AND I’m saving myself for marriage – and I’ve told her that.
So, with all that said, sometimes I find it hard to show my mother love.
My reading this morning helped remind me WHY I need to show love, kindness, and compassion to my mother at all times. And not only to her, but all those around me.
When we demonstrate love in this world, we give the world a compelling picture of God – one that draws them toward Him and not away. God IS love. We were shown the ultimate expression of God’s love when he sent his only son to die on the cross for us.
1 John 4:19 reads “We love because He has first loved us.” All love ultimately comes from God – not from us.
You may say, loving people the way God loves us is hard – ESPECIALLY the difficult people. I know I say that about my mother so often. But, have you ever thought that maybe the problem is with us and not them? When we think that about others, we need to examine our own hearts. It may be that God is working on our heart and not theirs.
When God says he wants us to love others, this is not a love we get all on our own. We must love with a love outside ourselves. We must draw from God’s love. We must make a deliberate choice to love someone despite how we feel about that person.
I know this was short and sweet. There is so much scripture out there telling us how to love others and how God loves us. But, I more or less needed to write this for myself. God has challenged me to take a step back and tell myself that my mother is not difficult to love. Showing genuine love towards her is a way to share God’s love with the world. And I intend on being more deliberate about showing my love towards her and the rest of the world – students, coworkers, family, and friends.