Each morning our family rises at 6 am and we start our day off. Part of this morning routine includes reading a chapter of Proverbs that coincides with the date and having a discussion around the content of the chapter. It is then followed by praying over my family and lifting up specific prayer requests.
Having a large family is work, I won’t kid you. Dealing with 6 kids and the different moods they wake up with can quickly turn into a battle royal. There have been countless mornings where fights over simple things like who gets what spoon or cereal bowl to who gets to ride shotgun on the way to school become all out wars. We have attempted to demonstrated and continually discuss how you should treat each other, as well as giving them principles of interacting with others in life. As with any kids, your words sometimes fell on deaf ears. About a month ago my wife thought it would be a good idea to include 1 Corinthians 13 into our morning ritual. It speaks of how we are to truly love one another.
1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. Love never fails.
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I believe this passage covers everything. I can honestly say that I do not love others fully as instructed here. It’s a struggle. I have no excuses, but I am greatly challenged and reminded every day as to how I should love others. Every day since we added this in to our morning reading I am reminded of a different way I need to love those around me. This is a good challenge and one that has also helped my kids really think through the how they are treating each other, even though it’s only been a month, we have seen changes. That alone speaks volumes.
Tell me honestly, is this how you really love others? Do you love your family in this manner, how about strangers, co-workers?