Blueprint Truth #5
GOD SHOWS US WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE
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.
- I Corinthians 13:4-7
God is love and He actually shows us what love looks like, by the fruit it bears. In the beginning, God brought a male and a female, Adam and Eve, together in love and the result He expected from two people loving each other was a fruitful, loving, life-giving relationship (Gen 1:28). When we love others, our relationships will be fruitful, life-giving and the fruit has names! 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 shows us those names: “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 trust, always hopes, always perseveres.” Wow, what a list. You can teach your child to grow in their ability to love by teaching them the right attitudes to have. I call it outside in training. They may not feel like not being kind, but you can tell them, “If you choose to act rude you will lose a privilege.” They may not feel like being patient, but when you ask them to wait and then give them a positive response for waiting, eventually their heart and mind and soul will feel better by “acting” loving. Ultimately, the only way for us as human beings to be truly loving is by submitting our lives to Christ and having His Spirit, His nature, live inside of us to really produce the fruitful outcomes of love. Fruit is proof of a seed planted. Inviting children to ask Jesus into their heart is the only way to get the seeds of righteousness planted. Help your child prepare for receiving the gift of salvation as early as they are ready!
When your son or daughter acts loving, point out the fruit. Say, “Susie, being patient and letting your sister go first was really loving!” “Johnny, protecting your little sister was a really kind and loving thing to do!” Speak and name the fruit you see, to strengthen their understanding of love. In doing so you will help them understand that love isn’t just feelings, it is also actions. Understanding this principle is important for your children because when they are teens, they will understand the proof of love isn’t just their “feelings” for someone, but their righteous actions towards that person. A much better proof indeed! In addition, one way for you to determine what relationships are healthy for them is ask yourself if it is life-giving? Is the result good fruit or is it rotten? Often we feel stuck when our kids experience negative coaches or friendships or possibly even bullying that do not produce good fruit. The Bible gives us another list to watch for because sometimes things can take place that we don’t know about, but all actions have fruit. In Galatians 5:19, “The deeds (fruit) of the flesh in Galatians 5:19 are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outburst of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and things like these!” Wow, what a list. Clearly some of this won’t happen at this age, but you need to be the gatekeeper of their tender heart and soul as they are learning to develop into a healthy person. Don’t be afraid to change teachers, teams or put limits on friendships or time spent in other people’s homes. I am not advocating an overprotective position, but too often I see negative outcomes that could have been prevented. God, through His Holy Spirit will direct you as you parent because He knows your child better than anyone!