We live and minister in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s a beautiful dry desert that is, for most of the year, barren with red clay dirt and green cactus as far as the eye can see.
But, everything changes during monsoon season. When the monsoons hit, the sky opens up and rain comes down in a flood that feels like the days of Noah. Very quickly, the rain from above transforms the landscape below. Seemingly out of nowhere, desert wildflowers explode up from beneath the dry clay, so that the desert is bursting forth in life and vibrant color. The results are stunning, beautiful, and amazing.
You and your family are like that hardened, dry, lifeless clay. God’s love is like a monsoon rain.
Where does love come from?
What is love?
These are two of the most important questions that you will answer in your life. Everyone wants to be loved and to love. Therefore, the “where” and “what” of love is vital.
After all, if you don’t know what love is you don’t know if your relationship is a loving one. Also, if you don’t know where love comes from, then you don’t know where to get love for yourself to enjoy and give away to others.
Just as monsoon rain pours down from above, love floods down upon us from God. Romans 5:5 says, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” The Holy Spirit is God’s version of a monsoon rain. When God the Holy Spirit rains His love down on you, it cools down and refreshes, washes away filth, and brings beautiful life. You need God’s love because without it, you wither and die.
Furthermore, the people in your family and life need God’s love to flow through you to them. Your child needs God’s love. Galatians 5:22 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love.” As God’s love flows down on us, it wells up in us, and then flows through us to others. What, exactly, is love? How do we know if we are loving others, including our children, well?
In 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 the God who IS love gives us His definition of love:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Ask yourself the following yes/no questions to contemplate which character traits you can grow in to become a more loving person. If you have older children, have them answer the questions about themselves and about you. If you have younger children, think how you would answer the questions for them.
The Love Quiz
1. Am I patient?
2. Am I kind?
3. Do I celebrate the success of others instead of jealously envying others?
4. Am I a secure person who does not boast about myself?
5. Am I humble instead of arrogant and proud?
6. Are my words and actions thoughtful rather than rude?
7. Do I allow others to have their way instead of demanding my own way?
8. Am I easygoing instead of irritable and grumpy?
9. Am I a forgiving person who is not resentful or bitter?
10. Do I want good for others instead of rejoicing at wrongdoing and the suffering of others?
11. Do I rejoice at the truth even if it exposes something bad about me?
12. Am I a longsuffering person who bears all things in relationship with God and others?
13. Do I believe all the things that God says?
14. Do I continue to have hope for God to work in all things?
15. Do I endure all things, even the toughest parts of life?
16. Does my love for God or others keep going no matter what, and not come to an end?
Now, to really understand love, consider 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 with the name of Jesus instead of the word “love”:
Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not envy or boast; Jesus is not arrogant or rude. Jesus does not insist on His own way; Jesus is not irritable or resentful; Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing, Jesus rejoices with the truth. Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Jesus never ends.
Which characteristics are your weakest from your point of view? From your child’s point of view? Which characteristics are your child’s weakest from your point of view? From your child’s point of view?
This blog series is based upon a five-part sermon series called Parenting on Point that you can listen to for free at markdriscoll.org