Monday, September 16, 2013

Ouch. My toes hurt.

Verses that are dangerously familiar became alive again to me today.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  (1 Cor 13:4-7 NIV)

I have read these words countless times.  I they were spoken at our wedding and, probably, at most of the weddings of my friends.  I have inserted my name in the proper places (Jeanine is patient and kind, Jeanine does not envy or boast...etc.) in order to get a right perspective of what my attitude towards others should look like.  

I'd like to think I've got this stuff down pat.

And then God chuckles and gives me a friendly wake-up-call, as He so often does.

For the first 18 years of my walk with the Lord I read the New International Version of the Bible.  It is like an old friend, comfortable and familiar.  About a year ago I got wind of the ESV (English Standard Version) which is a word-for-word translation, meaning it is more accurate when it comes to word-studies and the like.  So I have been reading and getting used to the "feel" of the ESV. It is not hugely different than the NIV but there are words here and there that jump out at me as new, especially when reading an extremely familiar passage like 1 Cor. 13.  

Today I was doing our school planning for the week.  One of our weekly activities is learning the "Fighter Verse" from John Piper's of his Children Desiring God website.  I have the app on my phone and each week the new verse pops up along with games, etc. that make it easy and fun to memorize the Scriptures.   

I sat down with my planner and began writing out the verse for this week...1 Cor. 13.  I absentmindedly copied the words until I got to the end of verse 5.  Read the passage here:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (ESV)  

Now in the NIV it says love is not easily angered.  OK, I'm not perfect by any stretch but I would not have said that I am easily angered.  But the ESV says "love is not irritable."

Irritable?  Um, ok.  Er, ah...yeah.  I mean, well, sometimes I get irritated.  
Alright, alright.  I may have, in recent months, had a teensy bit of an "easily irritable" issue.  

The Word of God is living and active, my friends.  Don't you ever doubt it.

I am SO guilty of this.  My goodness, I cannot count the times I have let out the big sigh and cleaned up the spilled drink because I had just. said. don't. run. with. that. for. the. millionth. time.  

And when my child interrupted my front-porch-time with a long, drawn out story about how their sibling offended them again and one thing led to another and they hit/pushed/insulted/dissed them and I basically gave them the royal brush-off because shouldn't they be able to work this stuff out by now and can't they see I'm spending time with JESUS????

Yeah, I might have an irritation issue.  

So this is the point where I confess and look at my babies with fresh eyes.  This is where I get over myself and choose love over self-centeredness.  This is where I serve sacrificially and love these kids well because, y'all...

time is flying.  This life is short.  God has spoken and I am bound and determined to listen and obey.

Yes, mamas, we must put first things first and choose our babes anew!  It requires admitting our weakness and realizing that the Lord will give us what we need, in His mercy He allows us to enjoy times of respite, but demanding it flies in the face of our role as wives and mothers and insults our families.  Our children have the best chance of understanding God's father-heart, how He pursues them and delights in them, when they see it modeled by their mothers and fathers.  

I must be less so that He can be more.

Love is not easily irritated...may I, may we be vessels through which HIS love flows freely to our children today!

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