Many people are familiar with the passage in Corinthians which begins, "Love is patient, love is kind..." I recently heard a speaker challenge members of the audience to insert their names for the word "love."
When I tried the exercise myself, I was less than pleased. "Jessie is patient." Stop right there! It already didn't fit. What a wake-up call!
I decided I would take the challenge in pieces. Each day I memorized a sentence of the passage and did my best to model that sentence for the day. Jessie is patient (when Maddie drops her toy in the backseat for the 40th time and begs me to retrieve it).
The next day, in addition to my new sentence, I would also try to adhere to the previous sentence. Now Jessie is "patient" and "kind" (when Parker whines repeatedly he only wants Daddy!).
And so on. Quite a humbling experiment. I would repeat the entire sequence each day, but the more I learned, the harder it was to keep up with the all of it at once. It was an eye-opening week. I was probably a better mother during that time than I have ever been, but oh my - what an effort!
I think the hardest part of the entire passages was, "Love keeps no record of wrongs." I am one who likes to justify her behavior. If I had been snippy with the kids, it was simply because Maddie ate an entire tube of grape chapstick instead of napping and Parker watered my houseplants until they were swimming in their pots and dripping on the floor. This "keeps no record of wrongs" business was going to seriously diminish my ammunition against the kids, Aaron, and a slew of others.
Anyway, I'm going to try to keep it up. And if you've never tried it, I'm challenging you today...Insert your name for love:
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.