Day 2

Love

from the Fruit of the Spirit reading plan


John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 1 John 4:7-19

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Saturdays were pancake days. Regardless of what activities the day held, it always began with batter and blueberries.

I would come down the stairs mid-morning, always last and always late. Sometimes we had additional guests, phone call interruptions or fluctuating appetites, but the scene was always the same:

I knew my brother would want milk, and seconds.
He knew I wouldn’t be mad if he used all of the syrup.

I knew my dad would request coffee first, pancakes later.
He knew I would eat the most blueberries.

I knew my mom would mention how my Papa used to call them ‘hotcakes.’
She knew I would want to flip the “pancakes, not hotcakes!” myself.

They all knew not to talk to me before 8 am.

One night I sleepily told my mom, “I love you more than blueberry pancakes!,” because in my opinion, there was nothing better. We began using the phrase frequently and, although I  outgrew my small plate, twin-sized bed and eventually my quaint hometown, I would never outgrow this phrase that said I miss you, I love you, I can’t wait to see you again, and I’ll always be there, all in one.

“Love you!”, my mom texted to me on my first night in my college dorm. “Love you more than blueberry pancakes!”, I replied. I knew I was trading pancake Saturdays for dining hall delicacies (I was clearly mislead), but the thought made me look forward to the next time I’d be home with my mom and her mixing bowls. It tasted even better in my mind than in my mouth.

Before you think I’m leading you to measure your love in terms of actual fruit, look again at the end of 1 Corinthians 13, where Paul is also looking forward to something:

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
-1 Corinthians 13:12

Does anyone’s heart LEAP and get crazy excited about heaven when you hear this? Me too, me too!

The type of love we are given as a fruit of the Spirit is agape love, which is a goodwill, benevolent, brotherly kind of affection. In fact, one of the most well-known passages about love—1 Corinthians 13—concludes with Paul’s beckoning description of heaven, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Friends, the love of Christ in us makes us a sisterhood joined by the heart-leaping hope of Heaven. This love—an earthly display of eternal perfection—is the essence of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. And, it is ours as a gift! His love for us fuels our love of others while we await our great going Home.

In his book The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis says that loving others as ourselves “is an image, a foretaste of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without a rival.” Love is the result of God in us. We truly do love because He first loved us. This love is viewing others through a heavenly lens, a God-given tool to fasten our heart strings to the hope of Glory.

We are a family standing in the waiting room of Fully Known, determined to exchange a foretaste of what’s to come. And so, whether it be through words, actions or pancakes, may our love always be a result of Jesus’ love for us—a reminder that we are His.

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Post Comments (250)

250 thoughts on "Love"

  1. Linda Ball says:

    Being a Nana and a Mother has made me look back with the would of, could of, should of thoughts. Then I realize Jesus has blessed me with a second chance with my Grandchildren. I loved my children the best I knew how as a single mother could. So forgive yourself and just be there to fill in the gap when your children are trying to raise their children. We are like clay being molded into a beautiful helper when any of our family needs us. We offer the calm we never had raising out kiddos. Be kind to yourself and pass it on with love.

  2. Cindy C. says:

    ” Love one another. Just as I have loved you…” (John 13:34)
    Such a seemingly simple command, and yet, so so difficult to actually do. We are all flawed, sinful creatures…I believe that Jesus loved us all, but how can I love others in the same say? I guess, as with so many other difficult tasks, it is best to just start, even in small steps…

  3. Amanda Hillard says:

    Not sure if anyone will see this, seems like most comments are months old..I am struggling with knowing that I struggle with Love. I don’t know that I’ve been a mother that’s shown love like my kids have needed. I’ve always worked, went to school, pursued my work. I’ve always gone to the games and cheered them on, but at home they are often ignored bc I’m too tired (selfish and don’t want to give anymore of myself) I have an 18 and 15 y/o boys and a 6 y/o Dtr. I know they need more attention and LOVE. A lot of our struggles stem from everyone needing more attention. I’m repentant but I don’t know if I am capable of loving like I need too. I can give a total stranger my attention and compassion but struggle to give that to my own kids.

    1. Courtney Douglas says:

      I see you and I see this. I want to affirm and encourage you. Being a mother is a hard job! There is a lot of work and effort that goes into it. It is exhausting to give of yourself, when you feel you have nothing left. I encourage you to run to the Spirit in those times of need. He will provide you with what you need to love your boys well. Take things one small step at a time. Read your son a book before bed, be intentional with dinner time, have a family movie night. There are so many options, even when you’re tired! But don’t be too hard on yourself. It sounds like you are doing the best that you can. Take heart and courage in the fact that you are willing to admit your struggles, and willing to do something about it. That is the first step. And it’s okay to struggle. We all struggle. We will never grow if we don’t struggle.

    2. Kate Bockhop says:

      Amanda, I see you and am with you. I struggle to give that type of love to my family as well. Praying for you today, sister. I think it just takes one small step at a time. We’ve got this because God’s got us!

    3. Andrea Cameron says:

      Love isn’t always easy when I can’t offer love, I pray, Holy Spirit help me! We don’t need to create our own goodness, he will do it in us

    4. Jen G says:

      To echo all the other comments, I think this is one of those things at moms struggle with, and we must acknowledge it and then ask God to help us. One thing I am convinced of is that God chose you to be the perfect mom for your kiddos.

    5. Natalie Fencik says:

      Amanda,

      Your words are seen and I appreciate your transparency with this. I believe the words that come to mind when reading your post is this. Jesus never asked us to be perfect. In fact it is in our most broken and vulnerable moments that he draws near. He made you a mother on purpose. He specifically chose your children for YOU. He knew that you were capable of being their mother before you even knew they existed. Love is given and received in so many different ways. For some it’s words of affirmation, others it’s simply quality time. Your children have their own love languages and I encourage you to find what they are. You can then pursue ways to love them based on their needs. You are already a great mother. Any doubt or questions regarding that is from the enemy! Be encouraged. Lean on Him to guide you.

    6. Melissa Hill says:

      Oh Amanda, you are not alone. I am here for the very same reason. I feel my children get the leftover me, the frazzled, short-tempered, worst of me and it’s so not fair. I love them with all of my heart – but I’ve allowed stresses of this world get in the way of what is most important. I myself have called out to my Father for a change in heart, circumstances, whatever it takes for me to have a kinder, more compassionate tone with my boys. I’ll be praying for you also!

    7. Amy Pilcher says:

      Amanda – just letting you know, you’re not alone in your struggle. I constantly wondering if I’m showing enough love for my kids. I work too and come evening time, we are all exhausted. I just try and do my best; be as much like Jesus as possible. I’ll say an extra prayer for you tonight!

    8. Tobe Ajomale says:

      The fact that you know this shows that you are willing to make amends and show them your heart. May the Holy Spirit be your guide, may He help you do it effortlessly. Wishing you all the best xx

    9. Jessica Watt says:

      I feel the exact same way with my two. They are young, just 3 and 4 and I feel very incapable of loving them like I want to and like I should. Something that is helping me is
      1) Praying about it constantly
      2) Noticing how God is with me as a Father and letting that guide my handling of parenting stuff
      3) Realizing the gravity of being selfish in getting a task done instead of being okay with interruptions by the people that are more important than the task. I like to complete something immediately and have a hard time when my kids come and want me to read or play or just hold them. I shudder when I think of the times I said no, so I could finish the dishes right then. Now that they are getting older, I am letting them know that they are the most important and I also need to take care of our house. But I need to SHOW them that. So they are starting to help me with chores and cooking (when I let go of the reins). And I want them to know that I love them more than my goal for the day.
      For me, it’s been all about realizing my priorities. I’ve recently sat down and written out a list of priorities in order. Put it up so you see it or put it as the wallpaper on your phone. It might take big steps or little steps but we only have them in our homes for a short time and I want to use it wisely.
      And thankfully, when I am incapable, I know I have a Father who cares and who will help me and show me through His perfect example.
      Prayers and understanding for you Mama.

    10. Carolina Espinal says:

      Sister God bless you. I see your message and although I am not married or a mother I feel just like you. It is hard being a working mother, but God is with you. My father raised 5 children alone and he never stopped worshiping God. He was so busy but we saw him and everything he did for us. Give the best that you can in everything, your children will see it also.

    11. Helen Bernandino says:

      Hi Amanda, I hope you were able to find Jesus in your struggle. If anything, bring all your guilt and shame into the light of His love and forgiveness. Guilt and shame are not of the Lord, but of the enemy. Don’t believe his lies. Jesus only loves. He will embrace you with His everlasting love and remind you that firstly, He forgives you and that you also need to forgive yourself. Find freedom in His everlasting love for you. Bask in it. Soak in it. Then you will see an outpouring of His love in you to your children. God bless you!

    12. Lauren Sams says:

      Amanda, I am not yet a mother, but I can empathize with you. I am praying for you and my hope for you and your family is that your remain open to His love and receive it daily. You are so, so loved

  4. Whitney Moore says:

    On a night when my marriage is struggling because I fail to show love well and acts of negligence plague my relationship with my sweet husband, I read this with anguish and hope. Anguish because this is the love I want restored so badly and hope because I have this love in Christ.

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