Monday, February 1, 2010

Put On Love

"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection." Colossians 3:12-14
Through the mundane, routine tasks of homeschooling to the voracious storms that trials bring, it is so very difficult to die to ourselves daily to ‘put on love’. Yet, nevertheless, because we are the ‘elect of God’ that is what the Lord is calling us to do in this verse. Sometimes I just want to retreat from all of my responsibilities of being a wife to my husband, a mother to my children, and a homeschool mom, because it is HARD work physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to continually put others before me. I am a selfish human being filled with sin. As Job said, “I am vile.” Job 40:4 I, too, identify with him.  However, because I strive to obey Jesus’ command to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30 and I want my children to do the same, I chose to ‘put on love’ as best that I can on a regular, daily basis. My encouragement to you is to do your best to ‘put on love’ in your household. The month of February is a great time to work towards being more loving to your family because of the importance that society places upon Valentine’s Day, which is really just another time for the retail stores to make extra money! But because the whole ‘love’ thing is surrounding us during this month, use that to you and your family’s best interest instead of how the world celebrates the day.
The other day I received an email from a homeschooling magazine company advertising a ‘Valentine’s Day Unit Study”. As I scrolled through the email advertisement, it listed all these ways to teach your children about Valentine’s Day, like the history of it and it’s celebration, etc. While I was very enticed by the advertisement and I considered purchasing it, because after all how much fun would that be to teach your children these things along with having some great, hands-on activities; there was a side of me that said I did not need it but there was another side of me that said otherwise. “The unit does not cost very much”, I told myself and I knew in my mind I could certainly justify my reason for purchasing it, but I also knew in my heart that was not something that was truly needed in my homeschooling, nor my family life and here were a few reasons why:
  • I could put together my own Valentine’s Day Unit Study (if I really wanted to).
  • I should not spend additional monies on more homeschooling supplies (especially since I already have so much to begin with that I have yet to use anyways!) Obviously the children learn most by my actions rather than something written on a piece of paper. Plus, just because we drew a little red heart on it, does not mean that our children will feel loved by our actions nor will that cause them to be loving to others in the process.
  • I should probably take the money that I was going to use to purchase that unit study and spend it on my husband instead, so I could show him love, after all, he comes before the children!
  • My number one reason for not purchasing the unit study: I would become overwhelmed by all that I am to do. I would feel a sense of responsibility to complete the unit because I would not want to waste the money that God has given to our family. The pressure that comes along with that responsibility will cause me to become frustrated as I teach my children in the midst of all of my day to day responsibilities of living and when I am done with my unit on love, I KNOW I would not be putting on love in the process towards my children. I would lose sight of what God was asking me to do.
Here is one of the reasons that homeschooling your children has such advantages over the public/private school system…YOU get to determine what you want to teach your children!!!! Now, was there something inherently wrong with me teaching my children the history of Valentine’s Day or it’s celebration, etc? No! Can I still teach them about the subject matter without purchasing a unit study and spending a lot of money or time? Of course! But I get to make the decision as to what is best for my family and so do you! If you go back to scripture and read what the Word of God says as to what is best for you and your family, it is to ‘put on love’.
My exhortation to you is to find a way, whether that is just through your godly countenance or through your acts of service, to ‘put on love’ towards your family this month (and of course all of the other months) as best as you can. While we know that no one is perfect, we strive to be like Christ, who is PERFECTION. “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:14

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