Challenge 34: Love In Spite of and Because of

Rebellion tried to rule my home today. My potty-trained 3 year old wet his pants three times, my obstinate 5 year old refused three times to obey my command and my 10 year old essentially called me a liar after insisting that the vacuum cleaner could not have been where I said I got it from because he didn’t see it there. So there was a lot of correcting, redirecting, washing and some spanking in my house. And the boys did a lot of crying and apologizing, and we all did a lot of praying. I needed to be restored, unnerved as a mother, in a place of wanting to give up, abandon my post and run, run, run, to anywhere but there with my kids. In fact they could have all run and I felt I would be perfectly okay if they left me to go anywhere away from me. Feeling justified in my lingering disappointment, frustration and weariness, I walked around giving my boys a half-silent treatment. Then the silence fully broke and I heard “I still show you love when you rebel against me.” And like only God can do, I was made speechless, not withholding words by choice but having no words from conviction. God does and always has shown love to rebels:

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8-NIV, emphasis mine).

With my memory restored I stopped my semi-silent treatment and began to engage my boys with joy, joy in my salvation brought on while still deep in my sin and continually grateful that my salvation remains in spite of the times that I sin. And if I get that treatment from the great God of the universe, the omnipotent, all-perfect, all-loving God, surely I can show love to those this God gave to me. My sons are mine to shepherd into godly manhood and that takes peace and patience as I see where they are and what I envision them to be. Loving in spite of what I see and because of what I don’t see truly is a radical act of love.

Take a Risk Challenge: In spite of what you see and because of what you don’t see, love those—children, mentees, colleagues, etc. that you would rather give the silent treatment. You don’t know if your actions and words from a place of peace and patience might usher them right where they need to be.

My One Thousand Gifts List

#1101-1110
Prayer in the garden
A chipmunk scurrying in the garden
Swinging on the deck
Finishing my Breathe essay
Eating Blue Nile
White chocolate chunk cookies
A beautifully warm day
Walking the streets of Ann Arbor
No rain as forecasted
A surprise call from a new friend declaring her connection to me and me as one of her confidantes

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