I haven't been writing for awhile and that is mostly because we have been in a time of turmoil in our lives. Our "R" has been struggling with intense behaviors for the past several months and I have been struggling with managing these behaviors. Most days do not go by without disrespect, swearing, screaming, spitting and hitting. I have struggled so immensely with loving her. I want to love her, but how can you love someone who treats you so badly and doesn't respect you? How can you hug someone who is kicking you and spitting on you? How do you say "I love you" when she is screaming I hate you back.
I was thinking about what Jesus would do and how he would react to the things that "R" is doing and it brought me to the verse in 1 Corinthians chapter 13: 1-6 the Love Passage.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I have to admit that this passage though I have heard it a thousand times convicted me in a tremendous way tonight. I have not been as loving and as accepting as I should be or as patient. I have struggled to be slow to anger with her and constantly think about her previous wrongs.
Her behaviors are extreme and they are tiring, but they are behaviors done from a place of fear and she really needs my unconditional love and devotion more than she needs my anger and frustration. I need to see her from the place I saw her when we first met and see her the way that Jesus sees her and not through my human eyes.
So as we work with our kids that push our very last nerve and we struggle with loving a child that feels unlovable think about the verse above and that our kids are in a place of fear and need our love to help them feel more regulated and accepted.