It is truly amazing what God has taught me in the past dozen years. Would I dare to say, I have grown by leaps and bounds in the insight department? HOW I would love one more conversation with each of my parents. Truthfully, my father has been gone so long, we lack the history I had with my mother and that conversation would be slanted by the lack of history. The things I observed through the age of 14 are not nearly as insightful and complex as those observed with a more mature mind.
One of the things my mother preached (TALENTED LECTURER) was how to judge people. I can truthfully tell you she never commented on anyone I dated beyond who their "People Were". She drilled in to me I needed to observe how their mother was treated and what her life looked like to understand what the future would hold for this fellow's chosen wife. NOW--I thought she was pretty snobbish for a LONG time. One of the things I have rolled around in the gray matter was her reason behind this statement. Momma was not really very prejudiced, considering the time, and taught us to treat everyone with respect. She was prejudiced when it came to her future in-laws.
Where am I going with this? Monday's subject on love has not disappeared from my thoughts. I am going to probably cause you to double take, but think this over~
we learn how to love by observing those around us who love us.
If you were fortunate enough to live with Ozzie and Harriet, you had a very good example. June and Warren and their wise parenting were a fantasy of television land. Most of us naturally fell into the patterns we learned at the knees of our parents, unless we made a conscious effort to change.
SO, how you love your significant other or child is usually a direct reflection of what you observed in your own family. I will go out on a limb and say, in most cases, it was not all bad, nor was it all good. We all muddle along trying to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and shoes on our feet. We never give much thought to intentionally loving well. And then one day, you are in the last chapters and you begin to reflect upon how well you did or did not do in the love department.
The good news for my children-they are not me. I have not observed them parenting in the same manner I did. They have made improvements and been better parents. It is a good thing to redeem the mistakes of the past by consciously making changes. The sins of the father may bear scars and consequences, but they do not have to be repeated.
AND the most important lesson~ GRACE needs to be given. Do not spend all of your time blaming the failures in your life on the past. My mother was not an affectionate person. Any failure on my part to show affection and verbalize my feelings are not her fault. The blame is on my shoulders. I know better and know how to correct this behavior. I cannot get a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for what should have been done in the past. I CAN extend her the grace of forgiveness when I begin to understand her childhood.
Where am I going? Back to Monday's post on love. I am currently reading selected Psalms in the chronological read through. One of the reoccurring lessons of the Psalmist is the great-enduring love of God. It is not about my love for God; it is about God's love for me.
"In this is love,
not that we have loved God
but that He loved us
and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins."
I John 4:10