Rethinking 1 Corinthians 13 The LOVE Chapter (plus Give-Aways)

Today my friend Lori Wildenberg is sharing how she has been rethinking 1 Corinthians 13 and she has a great giveaway going on…

Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, 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. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

 

Did you have 1 Corinthians 13 read at your wedding? Many of us did. But the words in the Love chapter didn’t fully come to life until I experienced some struggles.

My years of infertility were some of my most challenging times.

How could I love when felt abandoned by God and betrayed by my body? (I wasn’t patient, I wasn’t kind; I was angry, I was envious.) During those five years, I learned about relying on God rather than putting all my hope into the infertility specialists and doctors.

Then God blessed Tom and me with four kids over another period of five years through adoption and birth.

As a more mature believer, I realized God had given us the key to what unconditional love looks like. He tells us how to love like He loves.

And… it’s in 1 Corinthians 13.

And…it isn’t just a nice sentiment to be read at a wedding.

1 Corinthians 13 is one of the most practical and powerful verses in the Bible.

Love is an action, an attitude, an outward focus. It’s self-controlled; it’s an action, a commitment. It is ultimate strength.

I have found this chapter in scripture to be the most impactful in my parenting. It helps me avoid responding in anger to disobedience but to be self-controlled and to have a plan. Love is kind is the glue for family unity. My kiddo’s self–worth blossoms when I demonstrate patience.

Love is the quality that makes a family flourish.

If you would like to know more about how to apply 1 Corinthians 13 LOVE into your relationships with your kids the 1 Corinthians 13 Parent series brings the fifteen attributes of love to life in the books Raising Little Kids with Big Love (toddlers – nine) and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love (tweens- young adults).

1C13P Series with how tos

During the LOVE Month, February, 1C13P is celebrating! The 1 Corinthians 13 Parent Series: Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love and their companion study guides, is being formally launched. My co-author, Becky Danielson and I are so excited; so much so that we wanted to spread a little love around. We are giving away over $400.00 of gifts: books, jewelry, and one-on-one parent coaching with either Lori or Becky, both licensed parent and family educators. To be eligible for the gifts, comment on this blog post or on an article over at www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com during the month of February. Winners will be randomly drawn each Friday and notified via email. Thank you for sharing in this special month long event!

sharing the love

 

lori 2014Lori Wildenberg loves to encourage and support parents in their quest to be the mom or dad they want to be. Lori and her ministry partner and co-author, Becky Danielson, are licensed parent and family educators, authors of three parenting books, speakers, and founders of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com. For more information or to connect with Lori go to www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com www.loriwildenberg.com or visit the 1C13P facebook page www.facebook.com/1Corinthians13Parenting

Angela

Fighting for Perspective

Beep, beep, beep.

I fumble for my phone to turn off the alarm and it begins – a battle for my mind, my heart, my actions.

I sigh as I look at piles of books on the floor near my bedside table, random blankets scattered across the floor, and a huge pile of clothes that I need to take to a thrift store.

“My house is a wreck, I need to wash dishes, pick-up, clean, grade school work, do my school work…” my mind races with all the tasks that need my attention. Before my feet hit the floor I come to the conclusion, “I will never get it all done.”

So I turn to my phone and set a timer. “Five more minutes, I just need five more minutes of sleep,” I convince myself.

Perspective

This is my battle every morning. A battle to fight for perspective to keep my mind on Christ, to work a little every day to accomplish my God-given goals. I often get lost in the size of my goal instead of making small attainable goals daily. Beyond that I keep focusing on myself rather than on God.

What if instead of waking up and looking around at the physical things in my life I opened my eyes and thanked God for a new day? What if I placed a note by my phone that reminds me that God has a plan for today and I get to be part of His work that matters for eternity?

Instead I start each morning the same expecting a different outcome. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Then I wonder why I get in a rut, why I can’t seem to make progress. I keep my eyes firmly focused on my failures. I don’t even celebrate little victories like clearing a messy cabinet off or making a path from the door to the bed in one of my children’s rooms.

Life is a process that doesn’t stop once you reach your mountain top goals. Just look at Michael Jordan…he earned six championships on the basketball court and now he is successful, but unfulfilled.

So what is the perspective I need to get out of bed each day?

I need to remember that God has a plan for me that matters in eternity. A plan that includes raising children and even *GASP* keeping house. God has me here to learn, to grow, to lead, to love, to give, to reach out, and to do it all to bring God glory. And it doesn’t have to look like a world-changing gigantic dream…Because often the best way to glorify God is to lead a quite life of humble obedience. That doesn’t mean that God does not have big dreams and plans for you. It doesn’t mean that your dreams and goals will never come true…and it may mean that your dreams and goals are just that…yours, not God’s.

So you can give up trying and live for yourself alone or you can fix your eyes firmly on God and seek to bring Him glory in all you say and do. In that perspective every day is an adventure and every moment may be spent bring God glory by enjoying Him.

Angela

When Big Questions Loom: An Honest Response

Some questions linger unanswered – questions that weigh heavy on your heart, mind, soul, and strength.

They threaten to suffocate the joy out of life and life can feel barren, hopeless, endless.

Everyone else seems to have all the answers or they never had any questions. Their lives seem purposeful, full of meaning, with no lingering questions. They are successful or at least apparently happy and their happiness seems to add weight to your questions.

And the simple answers – the ones not won after wrestling with God – feel like the force of a cannon ball shot a close quarters.

Questions

Would someone be honest enough to say the question has no simple answer?

Would we as the church stand up and say there are many things we do not understand?

Could we be honest enough to admit that more often than not God’s ways are not our ways and He is bigger and better than we can imagine even in the questions and injustices of life?

What if we made prayer circles and prayed big prayers that only God can fulfill, but then prayed as Jesus did, “Not my will, but Yours?”

Can we, church, admit that although we know God is good, holy, righteous, pure, and perfect that we aren’t privy to how He choses to shape the course of history?

Can we stop attempting to shore up God’s reputation by denying or failing to mention He is also a jealous God and a God of wrath?

Maybe there in the midst of uncertainty true faith develops.

Faith that knows it does not have all the answers, but trusts a God who does.

Faith that believes God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, but knows that God’s plans – which are for our good – may not always look good in this physical world.

Faith that begs Jesus to help our unbelief.

Faith that clings to God even when questions linger.

Angela

Your Holy Calling

You have a calling.

Yes, you momma with the unwashed hair and spit-up stained shirt, you have a calling.

Yes you who have made a mess of things again and you wonder if God could really use you.

All of us, we have a calling and God tells us to live worthy of it…

And I wonder how I could possibly live worthy of godliness, holiness.

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But God reminds me that His great calling on my life comes with the power to do it. The power to say no to ungodliness. The power to live a holy life…God give it to us. We just have to choose to live in that power.

And it starts with a desperate plea for help to our Heavenly Father. Help, because we cannot live this holy life without His help. And it continues as we keep our eyes on Jesus. When we remember what He did for us on the cross, we long for holiness so we may bring Him glory and honor.

“For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:11

How will we be richly provided a way to the eternal kingdom? In the power given to us for life and godliness — the power of Christ in us. So our holy calling is not how we get to heaven, but it is us agreeing with God that our lives belongs to Him. And God doesn’t stop there.

“For if these qualities [of holiness] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:8

This holy calling on our lives then is possible through the power God gives us which is the same power that frees us from the penalty of our sin. And it is the same power that makes what we do for God effective.

God has called us to holiness. God has empowered us to live holy lives. He tells us this holy calling means our work for Him will be effective. Praise God! He loves us enough not only to call us to holiness, but to empower us to live holy.

What ungodly thing do you need to say no today? Have you been walking contrary to your holy calling? It isn’t too late.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Now let’s walk in the power God has given so we can say no to ungodliness and yes to our holy calling.

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Angela