This excerpt was taken from the book A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming. This book has been rocking my world, let me tell you. I am writing up a bible study for moms based on this book and the study questions it gives at the end of each chapter. All moms, please read this book. It is amazing.
1 Corinthians 13 for Mothers
If I keep my house immaculately clean, and am envied by all for my interior decorating, but do not show love in my family- I'm just another housewife.
If I'm always producing lovely things- sewing, art; if I always look attractive, and speak intelligently, but am not loving to my family- I am nothing.
If I'm busy in community affairs, teach Sunday school, and drive in the carpool, but fail to give adequate love to my family- I gain nothing.
Love changes diapers, cleans up messes, and ties shoes- over and over again.
Love is kind, though tired and frazzled.
Love doesn't envy another wife- one whose children are "spaced" better, or in school so she has time to pursue her own interests.
Love doesn't try to impress others with my abilities or knowledge as a mother.
Love doesn't scream at the kids.
Love doesn't feel cheated because I didn't get to do what I wanted to do today- sew, read, soak in a hot tub.
Love doesn't lose my temper easily.
Love doesn't assume that my children are being naughty just because their noise level is irritating.
Love doesn't rejoice when other people's children misbehave and make mine look good. Love is genuinely happy when others are honored by their children.
Our society does not easily identify with Jesus' example of giving up His rights. Instead we assert our rights: "women's rights," "children's rights," "gay rights," "minority rights." New categories are constantly being added to the list.
Mothers too, can grasp for their rights, but sometimes they find their capacity to love is dissipated by their firm resolve to protect those rights. A mother in one cartoon is seen tacking up a sign: "Mother goes off duty at 8pm." That seems fair enough, doesn't it? After all, who has longer hours than a mother? Should we perhaps organize or unionize to ensure our right to some time off?
The world urges us, "Assert yourself," "Fulfill yourself," "Liberate yourself," "Please yourself," "Satisfy yourself." But Jesus says, "Die to yourself." It seems like a step backwards. Our lives are to be sacrificed for others, not in some sort of melodramatic martyr complex, but in following the daily challenge of Christ's example. Listen to Jesus' words:
"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." - John 12:24-25
Christ commands us to love even as He loves.
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." -John 15:12-13.
Love is laying down our lives for others. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for us, so we are to give our lives away for others. To love is to die... Each day we have numerous opportunities to live for others and not ourselves. We may serve others and die to self by being dedicated to seeking the good of others.
Paul instructs us, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."- Ephesians 5:1-2
(As you can see, this book is seriously deep and convicting. It's not a "give you a warm fuzzy" kind of book. It's an "in your face" kind of book that deals with the deepest heart issues we face as mothers. I cannot express to you how much this book has meant to me!)