"Hey, that's mine! You can't just take it!"
"Ow! That hurts! You can't do whatever you want!"
I'm trusting these are common statements in your home if you have children. If not, welcome to the Santos Family.
She stood on the hearth and presented her argument to me. "Well, Mom, she can't just tell me what to do and always take my stuff without asking!"
"Yes, she can." I answered.
She looked at me with a look of disgust, and fear...fear there is no justice to be found. Her eyes seemed to say "If Mom is against me, I'm doomed."
"Lovey, people choose to do what they want. If they choose to do evil, that is their choice. God has given us all a will. It's a gift and we can do with it whatever we want. You have the same choice, to do good or evil."
Poor child. She looked hopeless.
I continued. "Now, there are consequences for bad choices and there are rewards for good choices...but it's not always immediate. However, in the end, God is just and He is the judge of all."
There was a pause as I let her think about this.
I said, "This injustice that you are experiencing is not so much a chance to judge your sister as a chance to love your sister."
"Mom! You never understand! I hate her!"
"Do you think I have never hated before?"
I proceeded to share one or two of my own injustices and then, more importantly the injustices of our Lord Jesus Christ. I suggested how she might handle the next one that came along and, of course, I talked with the offender also. Somehow, we got through that case - for the moment.
It will come up again. These things are not learned all at once, but rather "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little."
I'm reminded of the words of Jesus, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
Ain't that the truth!
There is so much evil and perversion in our world, in our own circles, even in our own homes.
I think our love grows cold because we are impatient. Sure, there are probably a thousand other reasons, but this is a big one, the main one in my opinion. Everyone seems to be making bad choices, we are hurt, we think "let's just take care of ourselves...forget everyone else." We are self-centered and believe the lie "I'm the only one that matters!"
The first quality of Love is long-suffering, patience. We don't want to wait on our children to learn. So, the result is that we deny grace and give out criticism and punishment instead.
We don't want to wait on our husbands to love us, so we nag, manipulate or complain. I'm living this first hand. In a safe place where I no longer endure certain hardships, however, I am still waiting. Until there is a divorce, or death, I am his wife.
Would that I could cut the rope and find love elsewhere! Isn't that the common solution...why more than half of all marriages end in divorce?
Is it really love if we have not endured an injustice from another? Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God.
"By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, by your love for one another." John 13:35
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
waiting, waiting, waiting.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9