Our first family picture 1997
Many years ago when Michael and I were going through some difficulties in our marriage, I was reading something ( I really can't remember now) that said something revolutionary to me. It became my daily prayer for many months. Lord, love them through me. Use me to show Your unimaginable love to them.
It sounds pretty straight forward. I would show Michael God's love for him. It was not easy. Well, it's easy to do when you already love the person a lot. Not that I didn't love Michael a lot. I just didn't particularly like him a lot if you know what I mean. It's much harder to do when everything the person does gets under your skin. Or when you are so overwhelmed by life and autism that your vessel is broken. You have no love for yourself much less give to someone else.
I set out to change my focus. I started to see things a little differently. I mean God loves us even when we are unlovable. He doesn't throw our faults in our face or criticize us at every moment. When I wanted to criticize or be derogatory (which unfortunately can be quite often), I simply prayed, Lord, love him through me.
This reminded me that I wasn't loving or disliking Michael for myself. I was doing it for God.
It worked miracles to say the least. I quit focusing on his faults and started being encouraging. I put his needs ahead of my own. I let God love him through me. Amazing things happen to people when you are loving and encouraging. They become loving and encouraging back to you. Michael put my needs ahead of his own. If you don't think that revolutionized our marriage then you have missed the boat, my friend.
Do I always do it? Absolutely not. Sometimes the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Sometimes I put me first. It is especially hard to do with people that you feel, right or wrong, don't deserve it. Deserve it or not, Jesus called on us to love our enemies.
You can't do it to get something from someone either. You must simply love the person . Even when they don't reciprocate or make your life worse. Cry out to God to love them through you. Be strong and courageous in your love. You can not go wrong showing love to someone.
I encourage you to find someone to let God love through you. Find someone who has been mean to you or rude. Someone that justs rubs you the wrong way. Pray daily for that person for God to love them through you. I have several people in my life right now that I am going to do just that. They are mean spirited and competitive with me. One pushes my buttons just to see me get upset. Lord, love them through me!
How does your faith help you with your children?