I felt like I was pretty harsh about what I had said about the man: “After his wife is gone he is sad, but I wish he could have expressed love to her when she was alive.” I just repeated what I had heard from an elder person in\n my family. Immediately after I said that I saw a puzzled look on my colleague’s face. I realized that she did not expect such a comment from me. Besides it was too unkind to say that when someone is grieving over the loss of a loved one.
More I thought about it the more I felt ugly inside and had to repent and ask God to help me to show mercy to others. As I re-evaluated my words the next day, I realized that I do not always express my love to my spouse or another family member as they desire or God expects. We may not be an alcoholic or have extra-marital affairs but we also neglect and ignore our loved ones in more culturally accepted ways like silencing the weaker ones, controlling decisions, or being a workaholic. Besides roles in any relationship demand certain level of unconditional love to the people whom we care for. Be it between parents and children, husband and wife, wife and husband, adult children and parents, shepherd and sheep, or teachers and students. I am sure we have failed in many of these roles to express unconditional love.
We can be more kind to others when we realize that we are also sinners in need of favor from a merciful God rather than entertaining the thought that only others are “sinners in the hands of an angry God.” When we cannot see our need for mercy and repentance, we become too quick to judge other couples about the speck of dust in their families and ignore the log in our family.
Before we try to fix our neighbor’s family life, let us take a quick evaluation to see whether our spouse and children or other dependents feel loved in our homes. We may be good in loving them according to our standards by providing food, clothes and shelter. But do they feel loved? That is the question all of us need to ask. Others feel loved only when we express love in the way they feel loved or as Gary Chapman says when we speak others’ love language. He says that children by the age of four have developed their primary love language which can be words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. In his book, he explains how God Speaks Your Love Language using the five languages. I pray this truth will motivate us to learn how to speak love languages so that those who care for will feel loved. The following link describes the different love languages: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cOTS8yEncYG91bZBVJACbqllyOTnmcoC/view?usp=drivesdk
Let me close with a word of wisdom, let us be immersed in the love of God in Christ so that loving others will be naturally supernatural.
How seriously do we entrust our values to the next generation? How do they perceive the significance we give to these values? What do we do or say to differentiate between eternal and trivial? Jer 35:1-16
Lord, as the first lesson to obey Your word is something that we learn and teach at our homes, let our young ones our community see the price we pay to obey You.
Lord, let us order our lives in such a way that our young ones in our homes and churches can see how we are committed to obey You even when it hurts and in turn will be attracted to obey You and love You.
How often we think of our past to express our gratitude to our savior? Where would we have been if it was not for Him? Do we become tempted to feel better than others just because of our transformation? I Tim 1:12-17
Lord, give us a humble heart to gratefully ponder Your mercy which caused a 180 degree turnaround in our lives.
Lord, we take time to think of Your mercy and love that brought about transformation in our hearts to desire to be Yours forever and to lead others to the joy we found in You.
What if God chooses us to do an irrational thing to showcase His plan? What if we know that we will die before we see the fulfillment of that plan? What words will we use to express our predicament to God? Jer 32:6-25
Lord, the Sovereign creator and sustainer, we don’t understand why You have chosen us to do something that seems foolish but we surrender with trust in Your power, love, and might knowing that there is nothing too hard for You.
Lord even when You choose us to showcase something that is seemingly impossible, we declare every minute that there is nothing is too hard for our Sovereign Lord.
Why does God wait for His time to work in our situation? How will be able to persevere during the waiting time? How will we remind ourselves about His promise? Jer 29:10-15
Lord, we cannot understand why there is an appointed time for Your promise, but we pray to “stamp eternity on my eyeballs.”
Lord, while we wait for You to appear in various painful situations, we don’t want to take our eyes off of Your purpose, so we pray “stamp eternity on my eyeballs.”
How often do we pray that our eyes will be opened to see the Word? Or ears to open to hear the Word? Or our hearts to be the good soil so that we will bear fruits that will last? Ps 119:17-24
Lord, we pray for our spiritual well-being, our eyes to be opened to see the wonderful things of Your Word, ears to be opened to receive it, and hearts to be prepared to produce fruits that will last.
Lord let our love for You and Your Word consume all the gifts that You have given us or will give us so that we will keep coming back to You and Your Word.
“He is a failure,” a deep sense of sadness was clear in the father’s voice. In childhood his son was so smart that his parents had high hopes for their only son. But life turned out to be different. Depression and inability to complete his education resulted in an unfortunate situation.
In childhood, parents can be like the mother eagle hovering over children. And children seem to enjoy the quick fixes parents do to save them from trouble and mishap. Last minute help with projects or providing some excuse for being late to school, failing the exam, or covering up the child’s mistake also save parents from shame. But how long can a parent do this? Will parents always have the resources or energy to meet all the demands as parents and children grow older?
Of course, it is painful to witness unfulfilled dreams and unresolved hurts in children. When they’re young we hope that everything will be okay when they grow up. This is an optimistic outlook but can be an excuse for enabling the child to learn to deal with issues. When children reach adulthood, parents cannot adhere to such an optimistic outlook. Then they may feel helpless. Greater will be the sense of helplessness if adult children do not want parents to meddle in their situation.
Even though I pray that none of the readers face disheartening situation with adult children, what can parents of adult children do in such a situation? Are parents helpless just because they don’t have the resources and strength to help their children? Not at all. God answers the prayer of parents and will open doors that no one can close. So parents can continue to bring their requests to God on behalf of their children. Besides, parents can continue to model how to walk fixing their eyes on Jesus no matter what they face. Next, parents can stop acting as the savior for the adult children for every situation but can be of help in emergencies. This is especially true with providing all financial support for healthy adult children as this will further hinder children from obeying the biblical mandate to work to eat. Fourth is about parents being the remote control for the children. This will disable them from being self-directed adult. It doesn’t mean parents don’t provide any directions or wisdom. Parents continue to be all these for children no matter how old they grow. Fifthly, parents can avoid speaking disheartening words to children and to others about them. But say words that build children’s self worth and hope in Lord. It will remind them that no matter how long is the night, the sun will rise again. Besides, from childhood, walk closely with children so that when they fall or make mistakes you are available to teach them how to get up and do life with the lessons learned. Finally, you can live out the perspective that education is not just about scoring good marks and being on the top of the world but about learning to live together in harmony with others with total trust in God. In other words life is all about learning to love God and love your neighbours.
Published earlier in Kraistavaezhuthupura