Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love
There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
(Paul McCartney and John Lennon)
It’s likely you know these words. Joey loves to sing to Beatles music and perhaps you just sang along! The interesting words to us are “It’s easy….” which has us thinking….If all you need is love is the rest really easy? We don’t think so! Love is more than a feeling; it’s an action. It’s a verb.
If we say we love, then we must put our love into action.
Action takes a lot more work than when we simply get a feeling about something or someone. If we as individuals and as a church took the time to put our feelings into action, we would have a totally different looking life as well as church life, which would ripple, to our communities. Let’s take a walk through the “love” Chapter (I Corinthians 13) with a concentration on verses 4-8 to see what we can learn! The English Standard Version of I Corinthians 13:4-8 says this:
4Love is patient– Imagine if we were patient with everyone (bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint); especially to those in the wheelchairs, with walkers or canes, or other mobility devices that go so slow and slow us up. Imagine if we came into church or other venues (including parks and other public venues) with an attitude of “I will give preference to others” and not feel like we have to run around them or bulldoze that slow walker down. Be honest. You’ve been there, even if you’re the one pushing the wheelchair. Let’s consider getting where we need to go on time so we aren’t pressed for time and annoyed by others who only have one speed.
and kind;- How lovely it would be, if we had the time to be patient (just above) which would automatically allow us to be kind (showing favor and affection). Might we stop to talk to the person in the wheelchair – even stooping down for a moment to make them feel special and talk to them? Might we stop to talk to the person sitting in the corner waiting for their ride as they clutch their walker? How often these people are overlooked (on purpose and by mistake) and would welcome attention and conversation!
love does not envy– We aren’t sure there are many who are envious (having a painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage) of what we do daily as we care for one with special needs 24/7, but we have had times where others seem envious of things we’ve gotten to do, or places we’ve gotten to go in spite of all we do 24/7. In those cases, it would be so lovely for others to simply rejoice with us that we get a change from the daily routine of care and get to do something for just us. That could be a simple, “We’re so happy for you.” So whether we’re thinking of our own person life or how we act in church, let’s learn to rejoice with others. That is also showing kindness!
or boast;- another area most of us caring for special needs don’t hear or see much. We can’t remember a time we’ve ever started a bragging or boasting (expressing excessive pride in oneself) session about the messes we’ve cleaned up, or the endless nights without sleep…but in this context, let’s consider as a church to remember that we might share things that seem like boasting; making those caring for ones with special needs to feel like they’re missing out, haven’t arrived, or aren’t doing things the way they should.
it is not arrogant – We haven’t seen many caregivers showing arrogance in their role. They’re too tired. But there are times we can be defensive in our roles and that can certainly look arrogant (exaggerating one’s own worth or importance in an overbearing or superior manner.) So as caregivers, let’s be humble as we engage with others so that we don’t sound, look, or seem “holier than thou” because of what we have been given to do. And in return, may others not act superior to have all the answers they couldn’t possibly have because they aren’t caregivers. Let’s walk in each others shoes.
5 or rude.–Rudeness is the act of being rough or lacking refinement or delicacy. Doesn’t that say so much? If we could be “delicate” with others it would be so sweet! Often my rudeness comes from being rushed in some way. I (Cindi) can get short and snippy. I don’t like that trait in me, but it’s an area in which I need to constantly work. I (Joe) can be intolerant when I lack refinement in things I’m saying. I might think Cindi and others know what I’m saying, but it’s not coming out clearly. I need to work to be clear, concise and with love. This overlaps from our personal lives to church life. Let’s consider others more important than our self (Philippians 2:3) and take the time to be what we need to be to and for others.
It does not insist on its own way;- Selfishness is so prevalent in our own lives, our marriages, and certainly in the church. Revisit Philippians 2:3 in the above thoughts for how to solve that individually and corporately.
it is not irritable or resentful;- It’s not pleasant to watch others get irritable when they are “slowed up” by our son who has but one speed: S.L.O.W. and yet it’s something all of us will deal with at some point. If we want to love those with special needs, we’re going to need to not get irritated. For some that will be impossible; for others a good deal of work….but worth the victory if worked on.
6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. – the truth is this, we need to do right, act right, and think right. When we do, we only begin to skim the surface of what truth is. Let’s start there.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.– With 100% certainty we know (as parents of a son with special needs) that because of bearing the weight of our challenges we can and do believe we are given the hope to endure and because of that we will love always. If others can find the worth and value in our loved ones with special needs, we will see just how easy it is to love because all you need is love to get started.
Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini are authors, speakers, and bloggers for several blogging sites on family and special needs. They speak nationally for FamilyLife Weekend To Remember Marriage Get-a-Ways, authoredUnexpected Journey – When Special Needs Change our Course,and have been interviewed on Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, and various other radio and television venues. Connect with them at www.cindiferrini.com and social media at:www.facebook.com/cindi.ferrini, www.facebook.com/UnexpectedJourney/, www.facebook.com/MyMarriageMatters/