What Is Love?

 

In last week’s blog we discovered that, as parents, we need to show love as much as we need to teach about it. This week I am hoping to help you begin to give your children visible and tangible applications of what love is.

I was introduced recently to something in the Bible that really showed me the depth of love. It comes from Galatians 5:16-26. The passage begins by talking about how we need to walk in the Spirit and lay our “flesh” aside. For children, laying our “flesh” aside might not make a lot of sense. They might think,

“Am I supposed to lay down so my skin is touching the ground?” You can explain that their feelings are part of the “flesh” and can’t always be trusted. Later on the passage talks about what those actions of the “flesh” or “feelings” might look like. Let me tell you, it isn’t pretty: jealousies, outbursts of anger, selfishness… and the list goes on. Finally, in verse 22, there is a “lightbulb moment” to give us the proper alternative to those “fleshly” acts. Here is where love comes in. The first words of the verse are, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love…”  Notice how the word “fruit” is singular. It is one fruit and that fruit is love!!! Out of that love flow all the other qualities that help our children to battle those sinful feelings that arise. So out of love flows…

  1. Joy
  2. Peace
  3. Patience
  4. Kindness
  5. Goodness
  6. Faithfulness
  7. Gentleness
  8. Self-Control

I know this might rock your theology. I, too, had always been taught that the Fruit of the Spirit had many parts; this is true. But when we see from last week’s blog what love is and isn’t and we know that God is love, doesn’t it just make sense that out of love flow all these character qualities? Out of the depths of love come joy, peace, patience, etc. So the next time one of your children is faced with a “fleshly” or “sinful feelings” moment, remind them that God created them to LOVE!!! Then you can help them choose the character quality of love that will reach their heart to resolve the situation. Who knows? Maybe love being shown in the form of patience with a sibling will help them learn to hear God’s voice and sense His Spirit for the next time they are faced with a similar situation. A great question to ask is, “What character quality of love do you need in this situation?”

 

To view Part One, click here.

Cynthia Schrock was born in Ohio but grew up on the mission field with her parents in Quito, Ecuador. She married her wonderful husband Eric in 1990. They have two beautiful children: Ashley is 24 and Matthew is 19. In 2016 Cynthia completed a 13 year long journey of homeschooling. Eric and Cynthia have been involved in marriage and parenting ministry for 22 years. Cynthia is a Contact Mom, helping moms with solutions in their daily parenting struggles.  She has also authored a book on celebrating others called The Ultimate Gift of a Birthday.
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