Ah, February – the month that brings about so much anxiety in a woman’s heart. Valentine’s Day is either loved or hated. We spend that day wondering if we will get flowers, a card and chocolates from someone special we love. Will they make the effort to show us that they love us to the moon and back? If you are a guy – then this day brings a lot of pressure with it. Should you do something special? Did you do something special enough? What if she doesn’t like it? Will she reject you even though you made a spectacle of yourself all in the name of love? LOL
Let’s forget the anxieties and pressures of the “love” month and just look at how love should work. In Paul’s letter to the believers in Philippi, he says, “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God”.
When I turned 50, I said numerous times that I wanted to have a few things figured out in this life. I wanted to make some changes and do some things better. I think that is fairly common for people who have hit the half-century mark. I believe I was wanting what Paul was talking about – to love more based on having more knowledge – having the depth of insight – or as I love to say, “the bigger picture”. Please don’t think that you will have to wait until you turn 50 to figure out some things – I want you to think through your family dynamics and then love each family member from a knowledge of their past and your depth of insight into their hurts and struggles from the past. When we step back and to take the time to learn about someone’s past, their childhood, their devastations…it gives us a compassion for them. We all have a past. We all have had struggles. My first husband died young. My husband Dan’s first child was born, but only lived a few minutes because of a heart defect. Therefore, we love each other in a special way – being tender to each other – knowing and having the depth of insight as we consider each other’s loss.
Your blended family needs your love to be a maturing love – growing day by day as you love, nurture, guide and serve them. Yes, I know it can be difficult to love a step child. It can even be difficult at times to love your own “flesh and blood!” But the beauty comes from how the love blooms and grows – and as Paul said in the verse, “so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless. When we love based on the ‘bigger picture’, there is a fruit of righteousness that is harvested – not that we can claim that we did ourselves – but through Jesus Christ which in turn glorifies our Lord and Savior.
Don’t wait for one day a year to declare love and devotion to those in your family – that chocolate gets hard and the flowers fade and wilt. Daily love. Daily dig into the dreams and desires of your family. Daily love them based on compassion – from a knowledge and depth of insight – and then stand back as you see the fruit that only Jesus Christ can bring about!