Tough love

It’s been a mixed bag of experiences for our family this week.  

On one hand- we’ve been on vacation. It’s been a great trip for us, as my recent work schedule and the kids’ activities have propelled our family in opposite directions.  We’ve had an incredible opportunity to spend lots of time together- making new memories and laughing about old ones. 

Conversely- our trip has come during a time of great sadness across our country. This week’s headlines have been filled with violence and sorrow. Innocent lives have been lost and nerves are frayed. 

It’s hard for me to understand. I can’t imagine how hard it is for my children to process.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭

I guess the best response as parents is to continue to teach love. 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John‬ ‭15:12‬ ‭

Love is the greatest command. Along with this command comes honor and respect for others. 

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”‭‭ Romans‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭

“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,…” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭

So who is our brother?  It’s our neighbor. It’s the person living in a different neighborhood across town. It’s the teller in the supermarket line. It’s the person that doesn’t dress like us or talk like we do. It’s the people in our lives that have hurt us and caused us pain. 

Our neighbors are everywhere. 

Everyone has value. Every person has worth. And just as Jesus loves us, we are called to love others. 

It’s hard sometimes, but it’s our responsibility. And it’s our responsibility to teach love and honor to our children. 

“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭‬‬

Let’s look for ways this week to get to know our neighbors…and engage with different people in new and meaningful ways. 

I need prayers for guidance on how to help my children process these tough events. Please let me know how I may pray for you. 

God bless.