Love. It’s a four-letter word that will cost you everything. -Heidi Baker
I find myself coming back to this thought multiple times every day. Most often it is thoughts of my family that brings me here. You see, I love my family more than anyone could ever imagine. When I describe my family to those around, the response is always something like this: “Wow, Laura, how do you do it?” or “It must be hard.” I am never surprised at what comes from those conversations. From a worldly perspective, I have every reason to be completely frustrated and angry with my family about a number of things.
But I don’t live in the world. I live in the Kingdom, and in the Kingdom there is only room for love. One of my greatest desires is to see my family come to know the Lord, and I can’t imagine that my role in this comes from anything short of loving them.
What I have experienced over the past few years is a great amount of judgement and ridicule from my family. In their eyes, a Christian is not allowed to get angry, upset, or frustrated. Basically, no feelings are allowed for believers other than complete happiness. I definitely believe that we should search for joy in every situation, but I also know that this walk is not an easy one, and their will be times in which I feel pain. This truth, coupled with their beliefs has made for extremely difficult communication. I have found myself very frustrated on a number of occasions. During these times, I am forced to completely negate my own feelings when communicating with my family.
It took me a long time to figure out what my thoughts were on this. After much time with the Lord, I realized that I was experiencing selfless love. Loving my family put me in a place in which I had to lay down all of my feelings and pain, and simply be there for them. Loving them does not involve preaching to them or telling them they are wrong, at least not in this season. It involves listening to them, remaining calm even when they tell me the most outrageous things, and giving them advice only when they ask for it.
I am consistently praying for them, even when I have no desire to or I am just too exhausted. I am standing on their behalf and believing for the salvation of their souls. When I am talking to others and they think I should be angry with my family, I am speaking the truth that the Lord’s love for them is vast. I do this more for my own sake than for those I am speaking to. It is such a great reminder for me.
Jesus loves my family more than words could ever express. He wants them to be free and return to Him even more than I do. Wow. He is constantly reaching for them and loving them even when they are most unlovely. He is waiting for them with arms wide open. He is longing for them because they are His bride. He sees them beautiful in every way possible.
Jesus loves my family, and so do I.