Thursday, May 1, 2014

talking to my kids: the most important person in our house

As water reflects the face,
    so one’s life reflects the heart.
-Proverbs 27:19

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:3-19

These are Very Important People, c. 2010

Tuesday was a trying day.

The kids grumbled and complained. The tension ran high, and they fought over toys, pencils, books, and everything else. If they had thought about it, they probably would have argued about who was breathing too much oxygen, or absorbing too much of the cool air from the ceiling fan.

After lunch we tried to begin our French lesson, and I had to restart the CD four times because of bickering over who was sitting too close to whom, and other such maddening subjects.

"Who is the most important person in our house?" I asked.

"God," all four children immediately produced this answer. (These are well-churched young people, and they know that 90% of the time, it is the answer to a question like this one. But this time, they were wrong.)

"No. God is the center of our home, of course, but that's not what I'm talking about. The most important person in this house is everyone except you," I reported this fact with calm sincerity.

I'm pretty sure they were confused, and a maybe little offended. Good. I had their full attention.

We went on to discuss this revolutionary idea of Jesus, that when we seek to love others more than ourselves, to place them in higher regard, to care more about their needs than our own, the end result is that everyone is loved as they need to be.

Because if I love you this way, advocating for your needs, seeking to bless and exalt you above myself, and you do the same for me, we're both covered in love. Our family become secure in a love that can't be lost or broken. 

This is how our hearts learn to live a love that changes everything.

The kicker of this all is that Jesus told us that when we love others like this, we are really loving Him. So, in a way, my kids were right about God being most important. When we make others the most important people, we are placing Jesus in the highest place of all.

Everyone except yourself. This is the radical lifestyle that will lead us to Christ's revolutionary love.

Today, we get to try again at this "everyone except yourself" way of living love. May we find Him in the midst of our arguments, our frustrations, and our trials. And may we truly know His love for everyone, ourselves included.

No comments:

Post a Comment