1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
For me, this was a hard message to listen to…yet, it spoke loud and clear to me…especially as a father…
especially when Pastor posed the question “Is each person’s heart safe in our home?”…and honestly, I had to answer “I don’t think so”…at least not as safe as they should have be…especially while the kids were growing up.
You see, I grew up in a family culture of “the blame game”, where for every little instance of angst, someone was at fault and there wasn’t much grace to go around…a culture that seemingly followed me…that “drained the sense of security out of my family”. I’m not blaming my parents for my actions, that’s just the way things were and as an adult father…it was up to me to change that within myself for the sake of my family and there emotional safety…or better yet, to reach out to the One who heals all, and makes things good and right.
I really liked Pastor's description of what a place of security and safety looks like for a family…”The Fresh Edge of Life”!...a place where safety and security of the heart are “grounded in faithfulness and graciousness” …and in that, we as fathers are accountable to our Father in Heaven..and just as He breathed us into existence,
so should I, as a father…breathe life…safety and security…into my own family....and as I contemplate all this, I questioned “why am I not that person of safety and security” that my family needs?...Maybe I’m not safe and secure in “my own skin”? Then these verses came to heart…
Genesis 1:26-28 & 2:7
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them…7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
…then it all came home for me…the intimacy of it all…God in Heaven, the Father of all created you and me in “Our image”..breathed life into us all…and when we failed…He “so loved” us that “He gave His only begotten Son…”
I think He’s provided me with all the safety and security…the love I need! Now it’s my turn…my job…my honor…my joy...to answer the call as a father…to breathe into…and live on “The Fresh Edge of Life” with my family. Come Lord Jesus, Come!
How safe and secure are you in your “own skin”?
Would love to hear from you.
Blessings to you and yours!