Sunday, 21 August 2011

Learning about LOVE Gods way.

LOVE.....what does this actually mean? Is it the gushy feeling you got when you first set eyes on your partner? Is it the way that we act towards one another? Well for years when I have struggled in my marriage or in my parenting, I have prayed God help me!!! And I have heard...just love them/him. And I always said I am trying. But never fully understood what that looked like :[.

Last week I felt defeated in myself with my parenting and relationships in general! I discovered that part of this was that my mum is moving to another state and my dear friend is moving to India for 2 years. I have never coped with the pain that comes from people leaving my life. I learned a long time ago that it hurts :(. And was unaware for years that I had developed a switch off mechanism!!! When someone is leaving me, I naturally shut down, block it out and can even stop calling them unawares to me!! But God has brought this to my attention this week!! I hadn't called my mum, I hadn't called my friend and I hadn't grieved their upcoming departure, until God showed me my errors!! First with my mum, where I shed a tear :'(. And then when my friend visited and I shed many tears.

The other factor in this terrible week, was dealing with parenting skills where I felt I was failing...and I was :(. This is where God, my dear friend and Love comes in....

God has always used my friends visits for spiritual guidance, support, great friendship and love. This time was no different! Am I surprised? No! Am I thankful? Yes!

My friend is very supportive and great with my kids. The kids do not see her as anything but family :) and nor do I. I was still struggling with the best way to correct my 10 year old and nothing seemed to be working!!! This is when the discussion on Love began. I had become a fantastic, rigid disciplinarian :(. In my desperate attempt to correct his behaviour before he reached an age where I would have no control. But I had forgotten Love... I decided to pray and ask God to teach me about what he means by love them.I listed the things I struggle with. And asked for help. And he answered my prayers instantly :).

I opened my devotional, Starting your day right (ending your day right) by Joyce Meyer. It was all about the fruit of the spirit. Then I opened my marriage devotional (which my friend had given me months ago!!) which I decided to start. And guess what it was all about LOVE!!! But loving Gods' way :) I was so excited!!! I truly was going to learn what this meant. And here is what I learned:

Loving Gods' Way.

* Patience - slow to anger, rsponding in positive ways in a negative situation, extending mercy to those around you, an internal calm during an external storm.

It is medicine in a trying situation. It stops problems in their tracks. It is a choice to control emotions. Never returns evil for evil! It makes us wise :)

It doesn't rush to judge. It listens to what is being said, to see the whole picture. It is where love meets wisdom. It gives others permission to be human because everyone fails!!! It gives time for them to corret mistakes.


Impatience - overreacting in anger, which can be poison to an already difficult situation. And anger is caused by strong desire mixed with disappointment and grief. It is an emotional response motivated by selfishness or foolishness :(. This creates a home at war! Yikes! (this was my mistake!!)

What I haved changed!

It reminded me that I am not perefct and nor are the kids! (I kind of knew this but it didn't lower my expectations!!)

I now listen to them, get the whole picture, give them a say! Then I discuss the issue with them.

I now extend mercy and I reason instead of condemn!!

This approach has helped my anger issues when dealing with challenging behaviours.

I nowlearning to respond positively, with a quieter tone, reasoning with them, pointing out consequences if they make a certain choice, then follow through. But I will not fight or go to war!

I snuggle more, I listen more and I compromise, I relax, enjoy them and focus on their good points.

My son is responding the best I have seen him respond. I am more relaxed and at ease, we are not at war! I know there are still going to be difficult times, but I know that in my weakness God is my strength. And I am human, I will fail, but God is there to extend mercy and help me back up again :) Who would have thought homeschooling would have brought so much charcter development to me :) I am glad God is making me stronger through these trials, lessons that I have wanted to learn for a long time!!God is Great!

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