Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Love Begins At Home

When talking about giving to others in the Jesus way, it is easy to check our motivation by examining how well we do at home.

Sending money to missionaries, giving a sandwich or a few dollars to a homeless person on the street, taking meals to grieving families; while these are potentially good and helpful, they are easy. In our relative societal wealth, these demand very little self-sacrifice.

The most difficult giving is at home, where the most natural thought is: this is where I relax. This is where I should be taken care of, given a break, allowed to have my needs met.

It doesn't work that way though.

I have a little sign in our front foyer that says it well:

Home is where true Christlike service is lived and learned. There is no better place to mold us and form both us and our children after the character of Christ. The longer I live, the more I am convinced our Maker set it up that way on purpose--man, woman, children. He knew the best way to place us in relationship that would most likely push us the right direction. He also knew our natural tendency to resist... yet another reason why He gave us Jesus as our perfect example.

The joy I have found as I place myself in service to Curt and our girls is deep and lasting. If I start to go down a path of holding onto myself for myself at their expense, it isn't long before I recognize my peace is disturbed. I'm not fulfilled. I'm not loving the Jesus way, and our home is not what it should be. But when I hold nothing back for myself, when I give for their benefit with no strings attached, it's pure joy. (By the way, I am blessed and thankful--though I would feel compelled to love this way even if it weren't the case--with family members all fully committed to the same kind of living. If you are not in such a situation, keep being Jesus to everyone in your home. I've seen it pay again and again.)

Thank You, Abba, for caring so much about us that You sent Jesus to show us the way to be Your children, to have Your peace, to love Your love, and sense Your joy!