I think I mentioned it before, but when you are my age you are allowed to repeat yourself (and pretend you didn't know better)...so here goes...I'm going to say it again...
We are smitten with Joe, our future son-in-law! We absolutely adore him and can't wait for him to be our son. Our own son can't wait for Joe to be his brother! We all just love him. Even better, we love his family....the few times we've had the pleasure to be in their company, we've shared much laughter.
Over the past weeks God has given me a wonderful opportunity to mentor my daughter as she prepares for marriage. There is so much to learn. She has wanted to read every book I own on becoming a virtuous woman. She is absolutely excited about taking care of Joe, washing his clothes, fixing his meals, etc. The other day Joe was at our home and she had agreed to wash some of his clothes, he was sitting at the dining room table as she threw his clothes quickly into the dryer. She was very tired as she looked at him and said, "I am not washing these clothes with love!" They both began laughing and I knew this was some sort of inside joke or conversation between them. Joe began to explain that when he was still at home, his mother would come in tired (like most of us) from a long day of work and begin to fix the evening meal. She would be opening and closing cabinets and Joe's father would look at him and whisper, "I don't think she's going to cook this meal with love".
I don't know why but that story struck me as so comical. How often do we serve (whether at home or in our community) and not do so with love? I cannot speak for anyone else, but as for me...not very often. Yesterday while reading my Bible, I stumbled upon this verse, "Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fattened ox served with hatred" (Proverbs 15:17). This is such a vivid reminder of the attitude in which God wants us to serve. If we are serving out of mere duty and not out of love, then why bother. Prayerfully, I must consider some small areas in which I'm serving now out of duty and not love and ask God for a heart change or the boldness to move on to an area where I can serve out of love. For instance, I have a Compassion child that I adopted because I was talked into it by a family member. I have only written this child twice and did not send Christmas money to my child (sorry Barb, if you are reading this you are probably horrified). I have not been a good parent to my Compassion child thus far and I'm sure someone out there would have been. When we don't serve out of love, we stand in the path of someone that would.