Love in the Face of Defiance

By Paula Bowlby, Associate Early Childhood Pastor

Woodland Hills Church

I was talking to a friend this week about kids and behaviors. I have a theory: I would rather have a child that acts out a bit, a child who talks to me and questions me, than a child who does everything I say and never questions, acts out, throws a fit or gets angry. Now, do I believe that kids should be able to say everything they think, be disrespectful and throw things around? Absolutely not! I do believe if my kids challenge me, talk to me and ask why it gives us both a chance to grow. Were there times when I wanted my kids to listen and do things just because I said so? Yep! Is everything up for discussion? Absolutely not! I remember when my oldest was around seven we worked out a system. He would say. “Can we discuss this?” and that was my cue that he felt he needed more say in something. Sometimes my answer was yes, and often it was no. Very often, parenting is a delicate balance. I will be the first to admit, I have felt like I have failed many times.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The beautiful aspect of this scripture is that we get to model “others-centered” living. We get to model believing the best. This scripture is often used in weddings, but I think it should be read over and over. I love how God models parenting in this scripture. God lays out what love isn’t and what behavior he doesn’t want to see and then we get to see what he expects. He expects patience and kindness; he expects us to be self-sacrificing and rejoice in truth. God expects us to put in effort. I don’t know about you, but I think it is so awesome that we get to partner with God in this adventure. My heart hurts for those who don’t know God and have him to rely on. We are blessed!

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