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LOVE IS…what I got – what do I give?

February 11, 2011

As Dave and I were talking yesterday about 1 Sammy 8 & 9, we didn’t make it past 1 Sam 8:3 – which took us on a long, but very cool tangent concerning fatherhood & important male spiritual role models in each of our lives – and what their families looked like too, to see if we could uncover a pattern that resembled what we were just reading.  It seems that you hear of the pastor’s kid(s) who go astray or the spiritual parents who have ultra rebellious children.  I’m not sure if it is exactly SO true, that this kind of pattern exists – as if as you become an adult & a parent who loves and follows Christ that your kids will automatically rebel.  However, if you are trying to parent them to be Christ followers, you WILL automatically be leading them to walk against the grain of the way the world walks, and that may cause rebellion.  Maybe it looks “so bad” to the onlooker because of the contrast between the way the parents are living and pursuing God and the way the children are rebelling.  It is hard to watch.

But, in looking at Samuel, and Eli before him, could it be that we are seeing a slight embodiment of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3?  I don’t know.  In some instances maybe….  We don’t see much about the father & son relationships between these two priests and their sons, other than the fact that the priests were godly men, but their sons were taking advantage of their fathers’ position as a priest, and went crooked – participating in “dishonest gain, taking bribes and perverting justice” (Samuel’s boys) and “lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting” (Eli’s boys).  Perhaps the dads were so preoccupied with their roles as priests (and maybe a little legalistic) that they didn’t take the time to parent their boys well, and minister to them from their shoes…that would not be uncommon, looking around at the world today.  The father wound leaves a gaping hole in many – physically or emotionally absent dads who don’t know how to lovingly father their children with mission & purpose.  The boys are looking for attention, acceptance and love – like we all are, since God has hard wired us that way – and when they don’t find it in their earthly father, they go running to find it with worldly means.  They weren’t pursued & cherished by their dads, so they went a wrong way – never to recover.
This Ransomed Heart Daily Reading was so appropriate today (Few Feel So Pursued) in light of the convo Dave and I had…
As we looked at real love as described in 1 Corinthians 13 (NASB), we read off it’s traits…LOVE:
  • is patient
  • is kind
  • is not jealous
  • does not brag
  • is not arrogant
  • does not act unbecomingly
  • does not seek its own
  • is not provoked
  • does not take into account a wrong suffered (not keeping score)
  • does not rejoice in unrighteousness
  • rejoices with the truth
  • bears all things
  • believes all things
  • hopes all things
  • endures all things
  • never fails
This is other-worldly stuff that is rarely modeled even by the most godly of parents!  I was coming clean about the fact that when my 10 year old son bursts into my office while I’m focused on something work-related…or just interrupting my flow of things period…it may not be pretty.  And yet, what I want at the end of my life – more than power, position, wealth, etc – is to leave the legacy that my children and wife feel as if they were KNOWN & deeply LOVED by me – not just that they lived with me and “did time with me”.  I want them to feel pursued by me and cherished.  If I want that at the end, I must do the work of intentional positive memory making now.  Because as was evidenced by my daughter’s FIFTEENTH birthday this week (yikes!!!  Where has the time gone?!?), the days may sometimes be long, but the years are fleetingly short.
This takes effort now.  Engaging now is better and less painful than being an old man with regrets.  I’m not horrible in this category, but I have much room for improvement.  I can’t…but He can, through me.  I need to just get out of the way!
Lord Jesus – only You have embodied the Love…You ARE LOVE.  Thank You that I am a vessel and a conduit of this other-worldly Love.  I pray that You will keep me from damming up the flow of this Love into the lives of my family and friends today.  Amen.
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