Yesterday, I was hit with some serious mom guilt. My 4 year old is struggling at VBS, so I wanted to make the extra effort to fill his love tank. His love language is acts of service. I find it a little hard to speak to him in his language, so I went read the section of acts of service in the book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman.
As I read it, my heart broke. I had not been showing love to my child the way he receives it. I had missed his pleas for love, when he would ask for help on tasks I knew he could do himself. Instead of helping I would say, “you are a big boy you can do it.” Or “I’m busy right now with the baby, brother can help you.”
I felt terrible and I ugly cried. I asked God to forgive me for not caring for his child the way I should. To forgive me for not loving him the way he loves. My heart was in the pits, broken for what I had done. I resolved then that would do better, BUT as soon as the thought passed my mind God convicted me.
The problem was, I couldn’t love my son perfectly. Even if I tried my very best I would always come up short. God reminded me that it is Him who loves my child, really his child, perfectly. My self reliant can do spirit could not do what only He could do.
I knew then the only way that I could show love to my son the way God shows his love for me is by allowing Jesus to love him through me. I could not do this on my own. I could not do enough acts of service or what I thought were acts in order for that tank to be filled. No, it is only God who could do that.
The only thing I could do for any of my children would be, to be quiet and still and allow God to work through me. He would have to give me the eyes and ears to see the opportunities to show love at the right time in the right way. I would have to remove anything that distracted me from hearing the Lords voice, whether it was the TV, busyness, or whatever taking my attention. And even in all of that, I had to remember the wonderful grace that covered me and my children would restore all that the locusts had eaten away. I wouldn’t be able to perfectly love them but I could point to the one who does, Jesus.
Whether you are a parent or not, no one can love another perfectly but you can allow Jesus to love them through you when you submit to him.
“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.”