If I constantly tell my children how they should behave and perform, but do not lovingly guide them by my words and my example, I have become blaring brass or a nagging noise to their ears.
If I could foresee what they could become and even know the very plans of God for them and have absolute faith that it would all happen, but fail to give them daily encouragement needed to meet each day’s challenges and frustrations, then my knowledge is without love.
If I sacrifice some earthly possessions for my children, yes, even lay down my life for them in some dramatic way, yet fail to show sacrificial love in ordinary circumstances, then the love will not be communicated.
This mother’s love of which I speak is slow to lose patience, even in the most trying circumstances. It never grows tired of explaining, instructing, and answering. It looks for opportunities to express praise and support. It does not make her children dependent on her in a possessive sort of way, but strives to help them achieve the right kind of independence and the freedom to think for themselves.
A mother’s love does not brag over things she can do, making her children feel inferior by comparison. It does not misuse its authority, but realizes her privilege to raise children comes from the Lord. Love has good manners. It does not use her children as simply robots to carry out her orders or live out her dreams, but treats them with respect, for they are people too.
Love is not touchy; it is not easily provoked, but realizes that children are children. It does not keep a mental record of wrongs committed to be used against them later or say, “I told you so” when they fail, as she predicted. Rather, it recognizes them by praising their efforts.
Love doesn’t blow up or say, “I’ve had enough.” It believes the best, saying, “Try, I think you can.” It loves no matter what happens—low grades, strikeouts, and forgotten lines in the school play included. Love is sufficient for every situation. Be sure of this one thing—love always brings positive results. Everyone responds to love.
By Donna Walker