If you’re anything like me, when you read 1 Corinthians 13 on what love is, you might cringe. I read it and see how I fall short. I see how I fail my family. My children and my husband. I replace the word love with my name. “Bethany is patient. Bethany is kind…” nope.
My heart aches. I want to love like this. To be known for this kind of love, but more often than I care to admit, I fall short.
It was a particularly rough morning. Lunches to be made, children to get dressed, errands to run, people to drop off and pick up, preparing for my classes I teach in the evening. And to be honest, I was not being the best version of myself. I felt this anger rise up in me. My biggest struggle and thing that causes me the most shame is anger. I hate that this is my biggest struggle as a mom. And most people don’t see it. But sadly my kids and my husband have front row seats. To be honest I have worked extremely hard on myself the last year, and God has helped me, and I do see growth. My biggest encouragement was my husband saying he didn’t realize I struggled so much with anger. There must be improvement. There has been so much grace for me and shown to me by my own kids.
When I’m struggling I sing the hymn, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies they never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness, oh Lord.” My son struggles with keeping his emotions in check. Extreme anger, extreme sadness. Always an extreme. And I explained the song to him. When he struggles now he sings the song. But the most beautiful thing happened. I was in the car. Struggling. Trying to be quiet and breath. And from the backseat I heard a little voice singing,
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies they never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness, oh Lord.”
I dropped my son off at school and drove away holding back tears. Why had I been so angry. I was praying. I was asking God for forgiveness. I was thanking him for his continual grace and how my kids are so gracious to me and that somehow my anger isn’t all they see in me. Every night before bed I ask Jordan what the best part of his day was. He always says, “You, mommy! You’re so nice to me! You love me!” Even on my worst day this is what he sees. As I drove home pondering this grace Jordan has for me a verse came to mind.
“Love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 mi My heart overflowed with hope in that moment.
Yes, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, 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.
It always perseveres. It never gives up. Even when I have fallen short, I don’t give up. I don’t give up trying to love better because I lost my cool. I breathe. I pray. I ask my kids to forgive me. I love them them so fiercely that in my sinful self I am still press on to love better.
Because “love covers a multitude of sins.” Love outweighs our shortcomings. And that, my friend, is good news.