Love is a gift from God

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Sometimes the little things are really the big things. This morning, I enjoyed a delicious breakfast made by my husband and daughter. Sausage and sweet potato hash, soft-boiled eggs and homemade-from-scratch green chile & cheddar sourdough toast. I sat at the bar enjoying my morning cup of tea and watching them work in the kitchen together while we all chatted. Usually we try to abide by the motto of, “you cooked, so we’ll clean”, but this morning Rob insisted on doing all the cleanup too.

I love that I get to be married to my best friend! We laugh and play together regularly. We love and serve each other. We are a team in all we do. We enjoy sharing hobbies, playing games, or just chatting over a cup of tea. We enjoy the fun things together, and work well together in the lesser fun things. I love doing life with him knowing that he is seeking God with all his heart as he leads our family.

I’m also incredibly thankful for the relationship we have with Emily. When kids are little, you hope that you’ll get to be friends with them when they are adults. I’m so glad to say that’s exactly what we have with Emily now that she’s a young adult. She is someone we love to have deep conversations with as well as play silly games with. She blesses our family as she cooks, cleans, and cares for us in many ways. She’s a joy to be around and we truly love spending time with her.

It’s important for you to know this – the relationship that I have with both of them is no coincidence and is not of our own doing. It is a gift from God that has been nurtured over many years. God was there in the beginning of our relationship and every step along the way. He provided us with mentors, friends, marriage retreats, parenting classes and of course his Word to guide us and show us how to have the best relationships we possibly can. We had to open our hearts and minds to receive the teaching from God and from the many people he put in our life. We had to admit we couldn’t do it ourselves and seek out help. We had to choose to make God the center of our family since the day of our wedding. Because we all focus on loving him individually, we also love each other well.

This is what 1 Corinthians 13 says about LOVE.

Love is patient.

Love is kind.

Love does not envy.

Love does not boast.

Love is not proud.

Love does not dishonor others.

Love is not self-seeking.

Love is not easily angered.

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

Love always protects.

Love always trusts.

Love always hopes.

Love always perseveres.

Love never fails.

I’ve heard that a good way to see how we are doing in the area of love is to read that passage from 1 Corinthians and substitute our own name for the word love. For example, “Stacy is patient. Stacy is kind.” When we do that, we see how much we truly fall short. But we aren’t meant to do it on our own! In fact, we couldn’t do any of this without Jesus. Without him, we would be self-seeking, prideful, quick-tempered, easily offended, and entitled. But with Jesus as our Lord, as we lean on him and rely on his grace, then he equips us to better love others as he loves us.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)

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