putting on love

from capl@washjeff.edu

It’s the phrase that sticks with me these days: Clothe yourself with love.

I’m attempting to read my bible in the morning, attempting to saturate my soul in the messages therein. Sometimes it works, sometimes I fail. But there are bits that stick there, asking for more thought, more action, more change. That’s what this one is, and I begin to pray, to ponder, to ask what it means for today.

I’m struck with clothing oneself. No, I’m not a nudist at heart, so bear with me. The act of getting dressed is a choice. What I put on is what I pull out of my closet or dresser. I get to decide what that is. And I am asked to clothe myself in love.

With what characteristics do I usually clothe myself? When I’m running late and desperately trying to get the kids out the door (although that never happens in my house…maybe yours?) I wouldn’t say it’s love. Sadly, it’s usually impatience tinged with frustration: really, you want to change NOW?????? Where ARE your shoes? Or, my favorite: WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE. I have moments of calm, tender hugs and chances to enjoy breakfast together, but there are other times when I don’t see the moment at all. I’m distracted, engaged by other thoughts or the to-do list before me.

Then I think about the times when I do put on love, in the form of dropping whatever I deem urgent to sit and read with the kids, and how different that feels. Having a kid snuggle on your lap, another at your side reading over your arm is amazing. And, spoiler alert, it’s not just love for them, it’s love for me, too. But lest you think that this love is just full of sappy sentimentality, let me remind you and me what love is:

  • Love is patient (when we’re hunting for the homework that should have been put away yesterday)
  • Love is kind (when we’re listening to “Music Machine” for the umpteenth time)
  • Love does not envy (when other moms seem to have more free time)
  • Love does not boast (‘nuf said)
  • Love is not proud (when my kids ask for Daddy and not me)
  • Love is not rude (even when I want to make it a character flaw that someone is late)
  • Love is not self-seeking (I will not need affirmation for my cooking, I will not!)
  • Love keeps no records of wrongs (even when somebody hurts my feelings)
  • Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (Just amen!)
  • Love always protects, always trusts, always perseveres (even when I sometimes want to hole up in my room and be.by.myself)
  • Love never fails

The best part about all this is that it isn’t just up to my strength. Because heaven knows, it’s an unattainable act for me to love all the time. But God is transforming me to love more like He does. By His grace I can clothe myself in love. Today, I will. It’s mahvelous, dahling, just mahvelous.

 

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