(The Love Chapter for Parents)
By: Cindy Sigler Dagnan
If I spend my days building skyscrapers with blocks, assembling cool stuff out of LEGOs and creating relationships with other moms at Starbucks, but have not love, I am only the siren of the kids’ ride-on fire truck, annoyingly stuck on hold.
If I have the gift of knowing which child attempted to flush the Hot Wheels down the toilet and which one pushed her sister, and if I have faith that somehow we’ll survive life’s emergencies, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I save all my box tops for school and give outgrown clothing to the local shelter, and if I surrender my body to stretch marks and under-eye circles (without the benefit of BOTOX, tanning salons or diet bars) but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient when someone isn’t ready to use the big girl potty. It is kind when my husband has a hard day. It doesn’t envy my neighbor who drives the new sport utility vehicle I can’t afford.
It is not rude, snapping at my spouse or children when things don’t go my way. It is not easily angered at perceived or real injustices.
It always protects the smallest, sweetest family confidences; always trusts God to provide my children’s needs; always hopes in the freshness of tomorrow and the bright future of family; always perseveres amid hardship and doubt.
Where there are sleepless nights, they shall end. Where there are diapers, Little League and dioramas built from shoe-boxes, they will cease. Where there is knowledge of baby-care trends, discipline strategies and boy-girl problems, it will pass away.
Now these three remain: faith, lived out in my daily circumstances and instilled in my children; hope, of one day rejoicing with my family in heaven; and love, which covers over a multitude of less-than-perfect moments.
But, the greatest of these is love. It is what remains…..long after I am gone.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8, 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.