A huge goal of mine is that our family always be full of God’s love. I believe it’s the glue that keeps everyone together. I know it’s something that will carry on for generations to come.
In our house, loving everybody is not an option. It is not acceptable at any time to think you’re better than anyone else. It’s not acceptable to treat anyone any less than you would want to be treated. I think most of society refers to this as “The Golden Rule.” But, I’m afraid for many it’s just a slogan.
It’s important that we all remember that “Loving your neighbor as yourself” is not a man-made idea. In fact, it’s quite natural for us all to be selfish, self-centered, judgmental, and all about us. The only thing that changes any of us is God’s love in us. After all, how can you share something with others you don’t have flowing through your heart?
As parents, we have to be intentional about everything we do. “If you aim for nothing you’ll hit it every time.” My wife and I are clearly aiming to raise four boys full of faith and love. These are not things we think about some days, but every day.
First, please allow me to address the faith issue. Most homes today are living faithless. Just throwing the words around “we have faith” is not enough. Your kids have to see your faith in action. Then need to see you living like a man or woman of God, studying God’s word, praying, and making being a part of a local church a priority. By the way, over 30,000 folks throughout Colleton County alone don’t attend church. Most kids are being raised in homes that don’t even show a sign that faith is anywhere near a priority.
Now, faith was important to mention because it’s only by grace through faith that we are able to receive God’s love into our hearts. Once God’s love consumes our hearts it will spill into our home and family. However, your love must be intentional and you have to constantly teach your kids to do the same. Not just by your words alone, but your genuine actions.
We teach our kids to love the unlovable. We make it clear to our kids that God sees no color, stereotypes, past, but only souls. We make it clear to our kids that if you can help someone hurting or in need, do what you can. Anything less is not of God.
My heart smiles when one of my boys gives someone a hug that could be the only hug they receive. My heart smiles when one of my boys prays with someone struggling. My heart smiles when one of my boys tells me he stood up for someone who was being bullied at school. My heart smiles when there is no doubt my boys know we love them, Jesus loves them, and God has called them on a mission to love others.
Don’t get me wrong. Our home is not perfect in anyway. But, I can promise you that we do everything we can to walk in God’s love and teach our four boys what it means to really live and love like Jesus. This can’t ever be taught by words alone, but parents we must live by example everyday.
(John 14:12)(NIV) My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
(1 Corinthians 13:1, 4-8)(NIV) If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.
Craig Crosby is pastor of Refuge Church of Walterboro a place you will always experience God’s love, grace, & truth. Sunday Services are 9:15 or 11am @ 203 Eddie Chasteen Rd. (Right across from Wells Fargo & McDonalds). For more info got to www.RefugeChurch.org