1 Corinthians 13 is the famous love chapter in the Bible. In verse five we read that love is patient, kind, does not envy, or boast. But if we keep reading into verse six and seven, we notice more characteristics of love. In Charles Spurgeon’s sermon titled “Love’s Labours,” he notes that there are four labors of love: love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. In verse seven, we read that ‘Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” These characteristics give us tangible ways to love the ones around us.
I remember the intense feeling of love when I held my baby for the first time. I also remember the pregnancy pains, non-stop nursing sessions, caring for my colicky infant, potty training, toddler tantrums, terrible twos, and all the work that goes into taking care of my children each day-the labors of love. After reading the passages in 1 Corinthians it made me stop and think. I labor all day long in taking care of my children’s needs, but do I labor well? Do I labor in love?
At first glance I would tally up my imperfections and say, “No.” I don’t feel like I labor in love most days. I lose my temper. I feel frustrated with the limitations of my little ones. And there are days that I feel like I’ve failed. Maybe I was too distracted by my phone to join in a game of cards, or maybe I yelled out of frustration. There are plenty of examples I can come up with when I didn’t respond to my family with love.
I will never be a perfect mother, but I do have a perfect Heavenly Father who will give me help when I ask. Maybe instead of focusing on all my shortcomings as a mother, I should be focusing on asking for more help from God. Praying and asking God to direct my thoughts and actions takes the burden off my shoulders. Because sometimes I don’t understand what’s going on with my children, but God does. And I can ask him for wisdom. I am so glad I am not alone, and neither are you.
Maybe you feel the same way. Perhaps you feel like you’ve let your children down today and made some mistakes. Let me encourage you that we can turn to God’s word and find the truth and encouragement our hearts desperately need. Instead of focusing on perfection, we can rely on the Lord to help us endure all the things we face each day. And in protecting our children’s hearts, trusting in God’s promises for our families, hoping for the best for our kids, and persevering in the hard mothering moments, we are truly loving well.
With God’s love in our hearts, and scripture as our guide, we can know how to love our families well. We are not alone in the daily demands of motherhood. Our Heavenly Father wants to help us labor in love and run the race of motherhood with endurance. And in the persevering we can allow God to shape our hearts and draw us nearer to himself.
So the next time you feel discouraged or tired in the daily labor of love, remind yourself that God wants perseverance over perfection. When you are overwhelmed in the labor and stretched to your limits, remember to ask God for his divine intervention and help. He is our ever present help in time of need and his love endures forever.
Memory Verse: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:6-7
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