I need to apologize.
I just finished writing a post. It was long and had many Biblical passages that explained the topic. It sounded good. You might have been impressed.
But it didn't flow. It all felt wrong. As I went outside glad that the post was written and done, I felt unrest.
There was nothing wrong with the post. The problem was me. Ironically, I was writing a post for Project Love...but I wrote it for the sake of writing a post. I wasn't doing it in love for you or for God. It was like a job I was scratching off my to-do list.
But God didn't let me post it. Instead I'm sitting down for try #2.
Girls, we can do so many important things. But if we don't do it in love, what does it matter? Do you remember the first few verses in 1 Corinthians 13? They say that even if we give all our money to the poor and have faith that can move mountains but don't have love...it profits us nothing. Nothing. All those good works would be utterly useless.
We must choose to do things in love. Our lives should revolve around loving God and loving others. Isn't that what Project Love is all about? The first and second greatest commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
I want this to encourage you. I fail so many times. I just did in my last post. But God gives us second chances. (remember Jonah? And David? And Peter? And countless others?) You're never out of His reach.
Now, because I love you, I want to encourage you in this next area of relationships.
Project Love: Parents
We've heard a lot on how we are supposed to honor our parents. It's a Biblical command (see Ephesians 6:1-3 and Colossians 3:20). We should honor, respect, and submit to our mothers and fathers. In a way, it's like a picture of our relationship with Christ - our heavenly Father who has adopted us into His family.
But how do we love our parents more?
To get our brains going, let's consider our own unique family. God has put you in your family for a reason. You have your dad and mom for a reason. You and your siblings are the only ones who can be a Godly, loving child to your parents. Did you realize that?
Godly parent/child relationships are important. Children need their parents. There are so many examples out there of bad relationships, the horror they bring, and the hearts they break. I know some of them personally. But what does a truly God-honoring relationship look like?
A child sees their parent as a friend and mentor. They share everything - dreams, struggles, concerns. The child feels safe. She has someone to confide in, and her parent knows she can completely trust in her. The parent encourages her to use her gifts to honor Christ. Because of the relationship, both are encouraged in multiple ways, including their walk with God.
That's what I want in my life and in yours. I want you to love your parents. I want you to be able to trust them and be trustworthy yourself. They should be the first person you go to when you need prayer, advice, or encouragement.
Having a strong relationship with your parents is possible.
I know because I have tasted a portion of it. Don't get me wrong; I struggle in many ways! But I know that I have a listening ear and someone I can trust in my parents.
Both have been instrumental in my life. I grew up 100% a Daddy's girl. I was the only one with brown eyes like him, and we even look alike. ♥ I love helping him outside and bringing him cold water in the hot summers. We used to go to work with him to visit his patients. (he works in the hospital) He is an example of what a Godly father looks like.
And my mom has been equally a blessing. She gave up her medical degree to home-school all 9 of us and became the best cook and most patient person I know. Mom taught me to read and write and continually encourages me to use the gifts God has given me. She knows all of my friends (and all their deepest secrets, muahaha). That's because I know I can share anything with her, and she cares. I want to be just like her when I grow up.
Think of your own parents. How have they been a blessing to you? How have they encouraged you to seek after God? How have they loved you? (and while you're thinking of it, consider telling them. Write them a thank you note or tell them in person!)
Here's our next Project Love challenge. Let's love our parents. Not in a quick "I love you" type of way. Let's build Godly relationships and develop hearts that want to serve and respect our parents.
I'm going to start building a list of practical ways to put that into practice, but I need you to contribute. We need to work together to encourage, uplift, and point each other to Jesus while developing relationships that count. I can't do this alone. =)
- Share Everything. Your dreams, your fears, your struggles. Be open with your parents.
- Know What Their Love Languages Are. And then use that to your advantage. ;) Do they feel most loved when you give them complements, hugs, acts of service, quality time, gifts, or something else?
- Be a Peace-Maker. Love your parents by loving your siblings, not arguing, and not complaining.
- Treat Their Things With Respect. This also includes the things they let you borrow...like "your" room, "your" bed, "your" flower garden, etc. Does your room show that you respect what belongs to them?
- Be Helpful. Help your mom cook, do laundry, or do school with a little one. Help your dad with his projects, bring him water when he's hot, and be open and willing when he needs you.
- Babysit so They Can Go On a Date. So much fun! =)
- Do Random Acts of Kindness. Need ideas? You might find some here. (another idea...clean a bathroom. You know you should.) ;)
- Do Something Special For Them. For my mom, this might be giving her a foot massage or brushing her hair.
- Pray For Them. And also ask them how you can be praying for them. It means more if someone knows you really care.
- Tell Others How Amazing They Are. Don't brag, of course. But so many kids don't have anything good to say about their parents. Why don't you love yours by complementing them in public or sharing with others how they've blessed you?
I hope some of these ideas prove to be helpful for you as you strive to love and serve your parents more. Please share with us...what are other ways we can bless our parents? Do you want to share some ways your parents have encouraged you?
Here's a verse to give us the right perspective before we set out.
"Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.'" - 1 Peter 5:5