Hubby and I were on day 3 of The Love Dare for Parents by the Kendrick brothers. Modeled after The Love Dare seen in the movie “Fireproof”, this book points parents toward changing habits and responses toward children using Biblical principles. Day one focused on simply saying the words “I love you”. Day two revolved around “Love is patient” and day three centered on “Love is kind”. The first two days were amazing! Hubby and I were very focused on gentle responses and encouragement. I was so very conscious of efforts to not over react and to be gentle and kind. We had a positively wonderful weekend in so many ways…we had all lightened up just enough. Man…it was awesome! Then day three…love is kind…a Monday…kind of took me by surprise. I found out that there is a thin line between being patient and kind and being a push-over and railroaded. What I wanted to say by mid afternoon was, “don’t mistake my kindness for weakness, boy!” But, I had to soften that response…and we still have 37 more days to go here! I know that there were other circumstances that added to my frustration and it is possible that this played a roll in dividing my attentions and shaping my mood. But, MAN! I think the back-talk masked as wanna-be funny sarcasm was just a little much. He’s SEVEN and he has learned in three days that I am softer and gentler and he totally took advantage of me. …And I allowed it to happen.
This morning, I had to search for balance…Day four is “Love Values”. Children are a gift from the Lord and should be valued as such. However, value is not discovered by spoiling them rotten, buying them things and letting them get away with stuff. Yes, Love is patient…kind..and values. Love also covers a multitude of sins. During this 40 day challenge, I want to teach my kids what true love really is. You can’t buy it, you can’t barter for it, you can’t trade it. Real love… Unconditional, respectful and forgiving.
Pray for our family during this next 40 days as we learn to forgive and forbear, to give and love, to discipline and to pray.