It’s February! In addition to it being my birthday month, February is also known as the month of love. So I was compelled to board the love train and devote the Monday Momivational posts in February to love. Specifically what love is, what love isn’t, what love does, and what love won’t ever do. I wanted to inspire moms to love even more deeply than we do, and to pour that love into everyone we meet.
First stop on the love train… What love is …?
Love is patient, love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4).
That’s simple right? Wrong. I never struggled with these two words so much until I became a mother. After many times of losing my patience and not being so kind I decided to take a deeper look into what was actually required of me in this love thing. Y’all know I enjoy a good word study project so here is what I found.
Patient – bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like. (dictionary.com)
I don’t know about you, but I felt pretty guilty after reading what was required of me by definition in the love department. I felt like I didn’t handle any of the mentioned offenses with fortitude and calm and without complaint, and surely not without anger. I wondered if this included when we have 15minutes before school starts and we are still in the house and the kid is acting like they have all day to get there, or when you catch the kid in a lie, or when they spill milk all over your presentation 10 minutes before you are supposed to walk out the door. I mean clearly the good book had to make exceptions for these things right? Ok, ok, ok I guess I am pushing it a bit. So with a shattered ego and a heavy heart I continued my word study to see how “Kind” I was not. Here is what I found.
Kind – desire to do good to others; goodwill; charitableness. (dictionary.com)
I felt a little redemption after the kind word study. I mean everything I do as a mom was with a desire to do good for my child and family so at least I was getting that right. Or was I?
The honest truth was that I sometimes justified my lack of patience with kindness. Crazy right? Hear me out. My thought pattern was often if I am tough on my child now she will become a responsible adult. That my rants were somehow building character in my daughter that would take her a long way in adulthood and maybe these things are true but what good are they if they lacked love. Love by definition means a calm reaction to the most annoying things.
After my pity party was over I decided to come up with some practical ways that I could get better with putting what love is into practice
1. Count to 10 before I react – This allows me to breathe and think about what I am about to say before I say it.
2. Put myself in my child’s converse – I had to learn to put myself in my daughter’s place. I had start thinking beyond my own frustration and remember that my daughter had feelings and they were fragile. I had to ensure that my responses to her growth moments were not going to be damaging.
3. I had to forgive myself quickly – I had to stop being so hard on myself. I don’t always get it right, and that’s ok. However, holding on
to the guilt of when I fall short only weighs me down. It doesn’t allow me the freedom I need to think about how I can improve.
Love is a daily work in progress. So if you feel like you fall a little short don’t get down on yourself. We have the opportunity to choose love daily.
Do you have a better understanding of what love is? Let us know in the comments below.