Living in America, we are presented with endless opportunities. From birth, we are taught that we can be anything we want to be and that we can do anything we set our minds on. I believe this. In fact, it fuels my desire, causing me to seek greater knowledge, wisdom, and skills so that I can attain them. It’s a good thing. In fact, I want my kids to recognize that they have the same opportunities. I, like you, tell them that they can be President. I encourage them to reach high, to develop knowledge, wisdom, and skills. As I teach them, I hope that they will do well. Today, however, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 forced me to evaluate how I am conditioning them.
I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Do you see it? When I read those three verses, I cannot help but look evaluate how I am developing my kids. My determination is that I am very good at teaching them about worldly things like acquiring knowledge and Godly things like having faith. They are on my short list. Unfortunately, according to Paul, these things alone are worthless and nothing. One thing is needed to make it all worthwhile; love. This begs the question, how am I teaching my kids to love? That question strikes terror in my heart. The truth is that my kids, like your kids, learn love the way that we love them. Additionally, they are learning how to love their future spouses by the way that we love ours. Why does it strike terror in my heart? I am very aware of my shortcomings both as a father and a husband. Seriously, both are far from God’s design. Thankfully, this is not the end of the story!
This is the beginning of the story. When I recognize that my love falls short of what God created it to be, I need to look no further than Jesus. His perfect love and his perfect sacrifice fill the gap. My acceptance of His perfection establishes and strengthens my bond of love with Jesus. His love, now in me, enables me to grow in love as both a husband and a father. The love of Jesus is not just for me. It is for you too.