{Parenting} Brotherly Love.

Written by: Sarah Oates-Walker

The day begins – and my kids can’t help but fight. Sigh… it seems like they woke up determined to annoy each other today.

As I’m upstairs trying to get the basic everyday chores finished, like making beds and cleaning up after breakfast, I am interrupted with blood-curdling screams, yelling and crying. I am constantly running up and down the stairs to referee their playtime. Little jobs, that should have only taken me half an hour, instead took the better part of the day to complete.

This behaviour is more than frustrating! Not only does it prevent me from being productive, the more important issue is that I hate watching my kids fight with each other.

Then there are days when they consistently put each other first. Nothing warms my heart more than watching my kids loving on each other. It is so adorable when one is crying, and the other comes running to console them, and encourages them back onto their feet. In those moments, I am beyond proud! When they are playing together, laughing and enjoying each other’s company, I can’t help but smile – my heart beams with joy as I watch their love for each other.

As a Father, God must view us in a similar way as we do our own children. He is thrilled to see us love and care for each other. Jesus taught us that the second greatest commandment was, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” His heart must swell with pride to see us putting our own selves aside to follow his will, as we serve each other in love by being generous with our time, encouragement, and prayers.

In the same way, I am sure God is frustrated to see us fight and bicker with each other. Christians squabble over traditions, opinions, denominational differences, and personal preferences like music choices or service order. God’s work gets put on hold, as we take our eyes off of him and put our focus on our own agendas. I wonder how often we are delaying the kingdom’s advancement because we waste our time on silliness instead of working together and moving forward.

Regardless of whether my children are fighting or playing nice, my love for them is the same. I never love them any less, even in my greatest moments of frustration. Thankfully, despite our behaviour (good or bad), each day God still loves us just the same. With that beautiful truth, I want to try and treat my brothers and sisters in a way that puts a smile on his face!

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1Jn 4:7-11)

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