Saturday, February 16, 2013

What is Love?

This past week was the observance of Valentine's Day.  As this special day approaches, everyone has an expectation of recieving gifts from children at school to family members to individuals in a relationship. As I reflected this week numerous times, Valentine's Day is a Celebration of Love, But the question comes to mind: What exactly is LOVE?

Last night, the church hosted a Celebration of Love Banquet for our Youth and Senior Adults.  I had the distinct honor to interview three couples which will celebrate their 50 Wedding Anniversary in 2013.  As the conversation went on, some interesting descriptors of love were given.  Some you may or may not have ever thought of until now.

  1. Love is a choice.  Every day of life each one of us has a choice to make, which is to love or not to love.  The Word of God commands us to Love One Another, but it does not necessarily mean we have to like them.  Let me explain...  We must love the individual person, but we may not necessarily mean we like or agree with his/hers action.
  2. Love is a commitment.  When you choose to Love, you commit yourself to it.  People are people, and none of us are perfect.  Therefore, we must commit to love inspite of our imperfections or shortcomings.  Remember, before the foundations of the earth God had a plan to redeem mankind, he committed to love us even though He knew time and time again we would turn our backs on Him.
  3. Love is work.  Life has a way of throwing us curve balls that may make the path rough for a while, but it does not mean to keeping up.  The philsophy in the world today is when the waters become rough run or escape because the grass is greener on the otherside.  However, as a friend shared with me recently, the grass on the otherside still has to be cut just as the grass before.  Anything worth keeping is worth fighting to keep. 
  4. True Love Is Unconditional... Greater love hath no man than for him to lay his life down for his friend. (John 15:13) Unconditional love is giving everything you are for the well-being of another.  16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This Is Going To Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You!!!

The title is a phrase that I have heard throughout my life as well as on a regular basis from students whose parents are taking corrective action in certain situations.

Every situation in life requires a decision to be made, and deep down, we all know what's right and what's wrong. Whether right or wrong, our decisions have consequences. Imagine for a moment if no one on this earth ever had to suffer a consequence for their action... What type of society would it be?
After 15 years of ministry and 7 years of fatherhood, I have begun to understand the phrase this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you... It truly hurts to see students everyday making decisions that are going to lead them down the wrong path, and at some point they will hit rock bottom based upon the consequences of their decisions. As a father, I have been given a Biblical responsibility as I raise my children to help them determine what's right and what's wrong. When they make decisions that maybe harmful to them, may lead them into more troubling situations or may just be flat-out wrong, I must discipline, so they will learn. However, I have come to believe there are two ways of disciplining my children. First, I can discipline by condemning them which I do not believe is Biblical, or second, I can discipline by loving and restoring them which I believe is the Biblical, Godly approach.

The Word of God says, "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent."

Though discipline is not easy and it hurts.  It’s never easy to punish one of my children, but if I desire to be a man of Integrity and earn the respect, love and loyalty of my children, it involves some suffering on both our parts to learn the lesson.  When these teachable moments come and they do, it may be a firm word or strict reprimand or a tap on the rear, and the child gets upset.  We must allow a few moments to lapse, so they can ponder and comprehend everything about the situation. BUT before the dust settles and we walk away, WE must speak gently to the child and reassure them it’s over, and we love them.

Discipline without Love = Rebellion

 Discipline with Love = Restoration