So I have a houseful of teenagers. And a couple of tweenagers. And a little one thrown in just for fun. I have to say that we are getting cabin fever and there are days when the tensions and the voices run higher than I’d like. “Why does this have to be so hard?” I wonder. “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Of course we have our “non-negotiables,” those standards of conduct that are simply expected. But what about everything else? What about the siren call, “She keeps bugging me and I can’t stand it!” What about the note in the fridge: “DO NOT take my oranges!” Where is the grace in the gray?
I am convinced that the Lord perfectly weaves a family together to reveal our own hearts to us. And really, our hearts need help. The “seventy times seven” sort of arithmetic that love requires is counter-intuitive. The call to humility and gentleness, to patience and forbearance, is not our native bent. Oh how we need a Savior!
My friend Don spoke some powerful words a few weeks ago: “Acceptance is the oxygen that love breathes.” Isn’t that the way of it? When we struggle to love, it’s because we struggle to accept each other, with all of our little quirks. Acceptance is hard when we’re convinced that we’re right. Yet, acceptance becomes easy when we remember the great love with which He loves us.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)!” Ephesians 2:4,5.