Love Is... Tying My ShoesJon Burgess
4Love is patient, love is kind...11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. I Corinthians 13:4,11
I've read the "love chapter" a million times and every time I try to ask God to make it fresh to me again. This morning I saw the connection between what love means and what love manifests. How defining love as patient and kind is refining my love into mature expression to those around me. It's through patience and kindness that I put childish reactions to frustrations and stress behind me and put the person in front of me. Nowhere am I more aware of my childish reactions then when raising children.
Cyndi is on the mainland for a women's conference this week and so I'm on Mr. Mom duty. I thought I had it dialed in. I had breakfast sandwiches ready and chicken salad sandwiches for lunch the night before. I woke up early to get myself ready so that once I dropped the boys off at school I could head straight to work. I had it all planned out. What I didn't plan for was that Elijah accidentally set his alarm for "pm" instead of "am". When I realized he was still alseep when he should have been close to heading out the door I was less then patient with him. When one of the boys was on his phone instead of getting ready I was not so kind. When one of the boys poured their hydroflask all over the floor when aiming for the sink I was less then loving. My well-laid plan for a smooth morning was falling apart at the seems. In the middle of getting the boys out of the house and into the car one of the Twins was having trouble tying his shoe laces. He had just tied his own shoes by himself recently, but couldn't remember how to do it. In the pressure of the moment he was down on his knee looking up at me and asking me to stop everything I was doing to teach him again... for the hundreth time. Have you ever noticed that "teaching moments" come at the worst possible time? Here's why. It wasn't about what I was teaching my son as much as it was about what the Father was teaching me about love. Love is patient and kind. My Heavenly Father stooped down from Heaven and stopped time and space to show me His love through the death and resurrection of His Son. He did this even though I was still a sinner. He does this every day. Even though He has taught me these lessons a hundered times, His love is shown though His patience and kindness towards me. He doens't tell me to "just figure it out". He doesn't shame me with "you should have had this down by now." No, He walks me through it all again as he calls me to be the man of God I can be. So, in the craziness of a post-Spring Break school morning with no wife to back me up my Heavenly Father was teaching me to love through patience and kindness. Yes, the other boys were yelling from the car to hurry up. Yes, the clock was ticking loudly like a gong in my head. Louder still, was the love of God that moved me to kneel down and look my son in the eyes and say, "Here, let me show you how. I'll take one shoe and you repeat what I'm doing with the other shoe, o.k.?" He got it and was able to head off into his day in victory and, as it turns out, so was I.
Father God, thank You for Jesus Your Son who is the manifestation of Your immense love for me. Thank You for Your patience and kindness towards me even when I should already have this "adulting thing" down. Your love teaches me what it looks like to be a mature man of God in every situation. It's in this love that I pray my boys would become men of God who follow You with all their hearts.