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.
23 thoughts on “Supernatural Love”
Thanks for this – just what I needed this morning!
Absolutely brilliant article. This is the type of material which should be preached and published for today’s church.
Wow. This is one of the best things I’ve read in a long time… just really really good. Number 4 especially hit home to me. When I look back on my early days of motherhood, I am mortified to realize how much of what I did was not ?truly done for the good of my children or to the glory of God, but really just to “vaunt myself up.” For me it was all about having an immaculate house, beautifully dressed children, and gorgeously prepared meals; those things are great, but for me, at that time, I was all about showing off how perfectly wonderful I was. If I made others feel badly or inadequate, well that was just too bad. Yuck! I cringe when I think of that now. Thankfully, the Lord is gracious and good…. He wiped all of the self-satisfied-superiority right smack dab outta me. It wasn’t pleasant, but I am so thankful now for all of the work He has done in my life. And even more thankful to know that He will keep on working in me forever?
Thank you for this encouragement/correction. I needed it after yesterday and I’m excited to start fresh this morning.
Thank you, this is just what I have been needing to hear. After spending some time in prayer with my husband last night over our 4 year old daughter, I felt very convicted that it wasn’t only her attitude that could use some adjusting. Then reading this article this morning really laid it out for me.
Wow! “fat souls”, I’m gonna have to think about that one for a long time. I teach self-esteem/confidence/assertiveness, among many other things, and I think poor/low self-esteem reaches back into childhood. Parents are responsible for making sure kids have a healthy view of themselves. Often, unfortunately that means parents teach kids to be overly humble (leading to feelings of inadequacy and not good enough), and forgetting that self-esteem is also about honesty, and celebrating our achievements. We can then use these celebrated gifts for good.
Thank you for a very interesting article.
That’s one for the fridge, right there. “…does not attribute motives…” Good call. Many thanks. This is a scalpel and a balm all at once.
Thanks for the post Nancy. This is a good reminder for me as we get to end of the summer picking and bickering.
While I agree with Dawn that parents are responsible for helping their children have a healthy view of themselves, I’m not sure we, or they, can ever have an excess of humility :). I’ve always been taught that our confidence should come from our position in Christ and in His graciousness to work in us and through us. When we are humble, He increases and we decrease. I think there is self-centeredness on both ends. Instead, let’s teach our children (and ourselves) to look to Christ. And then as Dawn says, to use our gifts for good.
Great post…something I really need to remind myself of daily. Sometimes it’s so easy to run on the assumption that our children “know” we love them, but how can they if we don’t truly show them. I think a lot of it comes down to remembering that our little ones are not just our children, but Christians as well; we need to love them as God does. Thanks for posting this…I agree with Sally C, it’s so nice to start fresh this morning! 🙂
Funny I should check and find this post today. #2 was written for me. I was cleaning out my refridgerator for the first time in 3 years (uh…yeah…it WAS as bad as that sounds)and really reprimanding and reminding myself that charity does begin in the home. Too far have we swung towards playing with and entertaining our kids every waking moment. They need us to take care of them and their environment as well. Love isn’t always just pietistic, sometimes it needs some soap, too. Thank you for this awesome application for moms.
Wonderful summation of what you taught in your young mother’s bible study which we recently went through on CD in Sunday School! I think I’ll print this off and read it at my next ladies’ fellowship breakfast. It’s always good to be reminded of all the many areas we need to be loving and serving our children. I always appreciate how you remind us to be considering the many aspects of love.
Thank you so much for this, Nancy! This is really good stuff and just what I needed to hear.
Could you address a Christian woman’s approach to the impending death of her mother (in law, in my case, but doesn’t really matter–she never had a daughter, so we are quite close)? And how to support my husband through this?
I totally needed this today! Thank you.
“Moms will have plenty of provocations in this world, so they need to be able to suffer for a long time.”
How ’bout I just give you a big hug and kiss. 🙂 I’ve allowed myself to run on fumes the last couple of weeks. My husband is so kind, though, every morning he reminds me of God’s promises and encourages me in my role as mother. Sometimes hearing it a bit differently from an older woman can finally break through my thick skull. I SO needed this!!!! There’s a reason Titus 2 exists and it needs to be practiced.
Thank you. I enjoyed this article. Very true.
I’m not even a mom, but as a wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc., I needed to read this. Thank you for the edification!
Barbara has it right, scalpel and balm. Actually, maybe all the Wilson ministries should be named that.
Thank you, as always. 🙂
Oh boy, I needed to hear this! I’ve been trying to love my kids with my own strength and love recently and of course it comes as no surprise that I get frazzled and drained!
Thank you for pointing me back to Christ and His love, so that I may in turn show it to my kids.
So wonderful Nancy! Thank you. 🙂
Told my hairdresser about this while I was getting my hair done this morning. She loved it and said, “Could you imagine if we had to parent with just our flesh to guide us?” We both had a good laugh at how ridiculous our lives would be without the Holy Spirit’s help!
I need this. Thank you!
This is really, really good!
Good stuff, I’m going to read this frequently till it sticks in the head, and pray for this love.