Thursday, May 27, 2010

Teaching Love in a Loveless Culture

I preached a fine sermon early this morning on my foggy deck, but only two squirrels, a rabbit and whatever critters had their heads poked out of the creek, were there. And they wouldn't sit still. (The baby ducks were asleep, I'm sure, but maybe their mommy heard). Okay, I wasn't actually out there talking, but I was studying.

So here's the short version, a review of 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. We must consistently teach and re-teach our children what is true love. The world is teaching them the wrong thing. Read the chapter carefully. Here are some things it shows me, and I encourage walking your children through these things, with discussion and examples.

In verses 1-3 we see
  • Love is more than Words
  • Love is more than Power
  • Love is more than Caring
  • Love is more than Emotions
Then we move on to see a string of attributes of love, all of which need illustration/examples for our children. We need to catch them loving, and point out that is in Biblical love. We also have to point out the contrast, gently but clearly.

Interestingly, this chapter deals with childishness in v. 11. Clearly, we are in the process of moving our children from childish, shallow, emotion-driven love to Godly-thinking, Spirit-motivated, self-sacrificing love. A verse parallel to 11, and right across the page in my Bible, is 14:20, "Don't be childish in your thinking, but be infants in evil and adult in your thinking."

The overarching definition of love as established in this chapter could be, "Selfless choosing of what is best for others, with confidence that God will work in and through them."

I pull from this text three keys to loving Biblically:

One -- Holding Your Tongue
Two -- Believing the Best About Others
Three -- Be Patient With Others
Model Biblical love to your children. Coach it. Speak of it. Contrast it with the world, because your children are seeing a selfish love, an emotion-driven-warm-and-fuzzy love that isn't love as soon as they stop being satisfied. God has given us the Words, and the Spirit, to teach true love to our children!

  • Gaming can be addicting. Heads up!
  • Paul Tripp: "Addiction: the result of seeking horizontally what is only found vertically - earth's pleasures are brief and will not satisfy the heart."
  • Any of us parents deal with anxiety? LOL. Stupid question. Think about, process, this: "Anxiety makes us doubt God's lovingkindness, & thus our love to Him grows cold; we feel mistrust, & thus grieve the Spirit of God." -- Spurgeon
  • "You and I did not invent communication and words, God did, therefore He owns our words & they should glorify Him not us." -- David Prince. This is a great truth for us to appropriate, but also to teach to our children. I don't know of I had thought of it quite that way. Sometimes just seeing something from a little different angle opens it up to us.
  • 10 Principles for Healthy Discipline, from a man who teaches well on parenting.
  • I sense that quite a number of families I have the privilege of ministering with are at or near a 'next stage' in life. Here is good, brief blog about 'moving on.'

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