As wonderful as a mother’s natural love for her children may be, it is not enough. She is going to need supernatural love. Moms can rapidly run to the end of their supply of natural love and find themselves not feeling very loving at all. This is why we need God’s love, the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love, if we want to give our children what they really need to have fat souls.
Consider the great love passage in 1 Corinthians, and let’s see what it has to say to mothers.
1. Love is longsuffering. Moms will have plenty of provocations in this world, so they need to be able to suffer for a long time. Some of this longsuffering involves putting up with people who degrade motherhood and despise children. Moms need to think long term, give themselves a good job description, and adopt God’s view of the high calling of motherhood.
2. Love is kind. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom and on her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). Much kindness (and unkindness) comes via words. Pervasive kindness means listening, forgiving, anticipating, speaking, and doing. It includes physical comforts for your kids: giving them clean beds, warm food, soap and water. It is a LAW of kindness, which means it includes discipline and instruction that is given kindly.
3. It is not envious. Not of other mothers, not of other people’s children or their accomplishments or grades or personality. This means no comparisons with the other siblings, no complaining. Children feel their parents disapproval and it can crush them.
4. It does not vaunt (parade) itself. Moms should be careful not to provoke others to envy (or disgust or weariness) by putting their children on display in a bragging way, hijacking every conversation back to the report card or the clever cuteness. This does not mean that moms should not praise their children and rejoice in their accomplishments. But the Christmas letter should not be full of vaunting.
5. Love is not puffed up. This implies being full of oneself. And this is the kind of mom who cannot be taught by her own children because the kids are never right, and mom is never wrong. This kind of parent is full of her own authority and looks to lord it over the kids rather than love them. She demands attention.
6. Does not behave rudely (unseemly). This means improper or inappropriate behavior. We’ve all seen this at the grocery store: “You are driving me crazy! I am going to count to three and then I’m leaving you here!” Love does not threaten. Love takes responsibility. Love doesn’t over-share about her children’s needs, failures, weaknesses, or sins.
7. Seeks not its own. This kind of mom gives herself away. Home is for the family, and the schedule is for the kids, not the kids for the schedule. This means family night is not the night the kids dread.
8. Not easily provoked. This kind of supernatural love doesn’t react. It sees the big picture and doesn’t flip out over spilled milk or muddy shoes.
9. Thinks no evil. She hears both sides of the story first before making a judgment. She doesn’t believe everything she hears. She does not attribute motives.
10. Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. When someone else’s child fails or flunks or loses, she does not do a victory dance.
11. Bears all things. Sickness. Slowness. Messiness. Childishness. She can bear these things if she has supernatural love.
12. Believes all things. She loves the truth! She lives it out and she teaches her children to believe.
13. Hopes all things. This kind of supernatural love can believe that God is in control of all things, even this sickness or this frustration or this loss. This kind of mom hopes in God and knows He is writing her story and her children’s stories.
14. Endures all things. Who can do this without the supernatural love and power of God?
15. Love never fails. This love sees the kids to the finish line with faith and courage.
Okay, so who doesn’t need supernatural love to do this? Pray to God for it! He loves to give the supply.