“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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Loving others isn’t always easy. It is hard to love when you are offended. It is hard to love when you are angry.
I have been praying about how to help my kids solve their disagreements with their siblings in a loving way. Lately a couple of them seem to get on each other’s nerves a lot more. I have six kids, the older two are heading out of puberty and seldom get into big arguments, and two are younger, but the middle two are heading into puberty and lately argue with each other a lot. After having gone through the “preteen years with the older two already, and now with the next two repeating the pattern, it seems preteen puberty has an affect on tolerance and attitude.
Though we have been teaching them about love, forgiveness, and getting along since the beginning of their lives, I feels sometimes like I am starting over in some way, like they forgot what they knew. Before puberty, they used to be more patient and kind and generous and gracious in their attitude. But currently they are easily offended. Right now, one day they are best friends and the next day words spoken by the other person feels like a verbal jab or a put down even when it wasn’t intended that way. So I am in the process of teaching them about loving the other person all over again.
So where do I begin?
Like I said, this is something I have been praying and asking the Lord to point me in the right direction. This is a temporary phase kids go through as they head into puberty, so I have to give them some simple steps they can take to help them work through their feelings and chose to react to the other person with understanding and giving them the benefit of the doubt and not assuming the other wants to offend them.
Today I am focusing on solving an argument with “Love“. Love is an action. Loving someone else you don’t want to love, or someone who has offended you requires something from you. When you love, it results in growth in your character as you make room to overlook the offense, overlook differences, overlook your own wants and put the other persons wants and needs in front of yours. Choosing to argue is an option and choosing not to argue is another option.
“The man replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ They also say, ‘Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.” Luke 10:27
Choosing to forgive and love the other person is what God desires from us. God is love. He wants us to be gracious, to extend grace to each other and offer each other a helping hand. He wants us to show pure love towards each other. When we love others and forgive them we show that we belong to God, that he is our Heavenly Father.
Love is is a choice. Love is patient and endures.