Developing a lifestyle of walking in love can seem to be impossible at times. Our flesh tends to be incredibly selfish, wanting only what’s good for “me” or “mine.” But if we want to live a life that fully pleases the Lord, we must obey His great commandment of love.
I really like The Message Bible’s translation of Ephesians 5:1-2, so I want to share it with you.
Verse one tells us,
“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.”
I am quite certain that you are a mother who teaches and models proper behavior for your children, or else you wouldn’t be reading this blog. You love your children. You want what’s best for them. Your desire is to train them up in the Word of the Lord so that they will find and fulfill His plan for their lives.
So one of the best behaviors that you can instill in them is learning to always respond in love.
But how do you model the “love walk” in front of your kids on a daily basis when you’d rather mouth off at that annoying inlaw (you know the one), smack that person who cuts in front of you at the grocery store, or scream at the maniac who almost runs you off the road?
Well, verse two tells us:
“Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love…”
The most important way to develop your own love walk is to keep company with the Lord.
Spend time reading and studying His Word — it’s filled with unconditional love from beginning to end. And spend time fellowshipping with Him in prayer throughout the day.
You don’t need to lock yourself away for hours at a time to have an effective prayer life. You can train yourself to listen for His voice and direction throughout the day. You can learn to take your problems and concerns to Him at any moment. He wants a lifestyle of fellowship with you.
And the more time you give to the Lord, the more you will receive of His extravagant love.
Verse two goes on to say,
“Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.”
The more you receive of His love, the more you’ll have to give to your husband, your children, your extended family, and those hard-to-love people you come in contact with each day.
Keeping the “Love Chapter” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) before your and your children’s eyes on a regular basis will also help you immensely.
When my kids were smaller and the occasional argument would ensue, I would remind them that “We are a family who walks in love.” Then I’d have them all sit down and read the Love Chapter aloud.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is the standard of behavior in our home.
Our children are older now. My daughter is 20 and away at college, my sons are 17 and 13, and the three of them are still the best of friends. In fact, now that my daughter lives halfway across the country, she still has to call her brothers on a regular basis and they all will Skype for hours at a time. (That does a mama’s heart good!)
Several years ago, I created a printable to help teach my children to walk in love. It’s a simple breakdown of 1 Corinthians 13, and was a part of their morning devotions each day (and also the one I’d have them read aloud again if they were fussing). If you would like to download a free copy of this printable, please click here.
Develop a lifestyle of walking in love and train your children to do the same. You will never regret it!