This last Valentine's Day presented a perfect opportunity for me to express my love for my family. With a glowing face, I set aside my deadlines and ran to the store to gather expensive ingredients. I donned an apron and worked for hours to create an elegant, memorable meal, complete with personalized valentines on each plate. Eagerly, I called everyone to dinner. As they shuffled to the table, the older boys looked at their valentines with embarrassment. Micah, five, didn't like his valentine and began to pout. After we praed, everyone attacked the food as if in a race. Duncan, surveying my emotional desert, raved about the homemade bread, the salad, the perfectly grilled steak. The boys dutifully mumbled thanks with full mouths, all eyes on the clock-- wrestling would soon start. There was no time for the heart-shaped chocolate cheesecake I had made for dessert. In a matter of minutes, everyone was gone-- to wrestling and youth group. I stood in the empty kitchen, on a floor littered with carrot peelings, smeared sauce, and radish greens, the counters stacked with dirty dishes, the sink buried under a mound of soiled pans. The leavings of my love feast mocked me. I felt cheated, even bitter. Why doesn't love return measure for measure? What was the point of this? And then I remembered--I wanted to express my love for my family. I smiled ruefully. That is just what I had done.-quoted from "Parenting is Your Highest Calling" and 8 Other Myths by Leslie Leyland Fields
What's your motive for doing the loving things you do for your family or for others? So often I have heard "They didn't even say thank you! Well I won't be doing that for them again!!" Do we only show love so that we will get love (or thanks) in return? Is it enough just to have the satisfaction of being loving? That's how Christ loves us.
Lord, teach me to love like you do. Teach me how to love selflessly.