Jan 31, 2021 08:00am
Mom Guilt and the Love Test

I once heard this idea, if you want to test your love for someone read 1 Corinthians 13 and replace the word “love” with your name. So here goes:

“Mom is patient and kind. (We’re off to a rough start.)

Mom is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. (Not so sure about the rude part.)

Mom does not demand her own way. (This is getting hairy.)

Mom is not irritable, and Mom keeps no record of being wronged. (I need a rock to crawl under).” 

(1 Corinthians 13:4-5)

O. M. G. Not really sure where to go from here.

Because I see these eyes. The eyes of my children.

Vulnerable, trusting eyes. Looking at me. ME. What do they see?

I want them to see you, God. YOU. But it’s not looking good.

I failed the love test. With flying colors, I might add.

As the truth of the love chapter stung my heart I laced up my running shoes and hit the road. Maybe the pounding of my shoes on the pavement could drown out the pounding of every beat of my heart screaming, “You can’t do this!”

Thump. Thump. Thump. The methodical steps at least gave my heart cries a rhythm to beat with. The fresh air filled my lungs with hope as I began to unload my deepest fears to God:

“What were you thinking giving all these kids to me? Surely you knew how I’d fare on this test. If you’re counting on me to show them your love, what now?

I kept running. I figured if I ran long enough I might stumble across the answer to my question. After an hour and still no answer, I stopped. The thought of walking back in the house and facing those eyes held me out in the cold. I stretched to stall the inevitable.

Then I heard that word again. Love.

“Your love will make me good enough,” the song on my phone repeated it. “Your love will. Your love will.”

Though this didn’t carry all my burdens away or set my sorrows free, it at least gave me the courage to go inside. But still I wrestled with this standard so high and my effort so not-even-close.

I want my kids, my husband, my friends, and all I meet to see God in me. But they watch me. And I can’t, for the life of me, come up with any God-thing I pass along.

There has to be a way to get from what I am, to what I want to be . . . 

All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.” (1 John 4:15-16)

Finally something to cheer about! Enough about my love – or lack thereof. Oh, how much better to talk about God’s love. His love is patient and kind. His love is not self-seeking. His love is gentle and long suffering.

And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.” (1 John 4:17)

O. M. G. I know where to go from here.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

My love is not full grown, but it’s growing. It’s not perfect, but being perfected.

 ‘And I am certain that God, who began the good work within {Mom}, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6)

What is your score on the love test?

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