Friday, April 7, 2017

The Principle of Being Loveable


"If you wish to be loved, be lovable"

What an interesting concept. But what does that really mean? So often we live our lives thinking that we all just deserve to be loved no matter what our actions might say. As a parent, I know that I do and will always love my children, however, there are times when their actions and attitudes make it seem challenging to do so.
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The question then is, how do I go about 'being lovable' on a day to day basis? The woman in Proverbs 31 had it figured out!

Defining Lovable

Before we can talk about the HOW of being lovable we first have to understand what 'lovable' really is. Miriam-Webster defines 'lovable' as
Inspiring or deserving of love or affection
 That definition fits the bill pretty well but I would probably add in:
A benevolent (well meaning or kind) feeling of brotherly affection toward one another. 
The action of 'being lovable' goes deeper than those fluttery "butterfly" feelings that we get when we first begin to love another person, no matter what the context. When we first come to find that we have a true deep love for a friend or another individual in our lives we begin to realize those 'fluttery feelings' have gone away and now there is a deeper connection that is still there even when we find ourselves disagreeing with one another.

Where Does Being Lovable Begin

 How do we know where to begin if we want to cultivate a 'lovable' life? The first place to start is with our Heavenly Father. We read in 1 John 4:16 that
God is love, whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
In order to begin to know how to love and be loved we first have to know what love is. And the only true way to know what love is, is to cultivate a strong relationship with the Lord. God is love. God is also lovable. And He is loving. He is the total package. It is only through the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father that we can learn the action that is LOVE.

Once we have that foundation in place, and we continue to abide and grow in our love with the Lord we can then put our new found ability to love and be loved into practice with those in our immediate circles. The more we exercise a new muscle the stronger it will get. The same is with our attitude toward how we love those around us.

12 years ago I left my home and embarked on a new journey that was college. I moved to a new town, with new people, and was placed in a dorm room with an individual I had never met. (Fairly typical college experience). I had to make a decision to learn to love the person that I would be living with for several months or I could make the decision to not regard her at all. If I had chosen the latter decision I would not have spent time cultivating my heart for love and I would have really struggled when new people entered my living situation. Roommates came and went but I was always able to love those who were part of my immediate circle because I was deeply rooted in how to love through God.

Taking Love to the Next Level

As I was cultivating my heart to love those who were placed in my path I was given the blessing of meeting the man who would become my husband. As I put into practice my desire to love all those who God had directed me toward I was able to develop a deeper, more intimate type of love with this man. Now, almost 9 years later, I have the ability to cultivate a passionate, deep love for him that goes beyond that of what I would extend to my friends and my neighbors. This is a love and a passion that is beautiful due to it's confines and restrictions within the marriage relationship. And this is a love and a relationship that is unlike any other out there so there is no need to wonder or compare my passionate, intimate relationship that those of other people around me. 

Cultivating a life with my husband that is worthy of being lovable also comes with some action on my part to learn to work creatively within the leadership of my husband. In Genesis we learn that God created Adam a helper to work along side him tending and cultivating the garden. The woman was designed to be his helper and not his adversary. It is my job to be the helper that I was designed to be and not a detriment or a distraction. I can know my husband as I honor, respect, and help him just as I am told to do in 1 Peter 3:1-6. 

An Example for a Younger Generation

Train up a child in the way he should go;   even when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6
Often times, in today's culture and society, the idea of discipline and corrections of children is frowned upon. Parents are releasing the duties of training and teaching their children over to schools, day care programs, and even church leaders. However, as a mother, if I am going to seek to cultivate a lovable life both for myself and for my children it is my job so train them in the proper manner. First and foremost I must ensure that my training is directly from the Scriptures. While it is my husband's responsibility to be the leader of the formal training of our children, it is my job to be in the trenches with them daily. I am to be the example. My actions should say to them:
Follow me as I follow Christ
This is not a responsibility to take lightly either. At some point, I will be accountable for the training of the young lives that God has entrusted into my care. The goal is to be able to stand tall in front of the Lord and be proud of the job that I did in the lives of my children.

A Final Thought

Family life comes in four stages:
  • The inception/beginning of a family
  • The expansion of a family
  • The child rearing years
  • The twilight/senior years.
As a parent the first half of our life is an investment and we reap the benefits of that investment in the
second half of our life. How we treat that investment will determine what harvest is reaped. The woman in Proverbs 31:28-29 took her role as a wife and a mother so seriously that the harvest she reaped was one for praise and encouragement. The woman in this passage was honored by her children and adored by her husband. She taught and trained her children with loving care and she brought good to her husband as we have already discussed in several other principles. This is the goal. To have our children rise up and call us blessed and to have our husbands shout that of all the wonderful women in the world we surpass them all.

How does your husband speak of you to those in the world? Does he sing your praises or does he wish that you could do more? What about your children? Are they thankful to have you as a mom or do they wish you had a little more love and care about your training? Join me next time as I talk about the principle of being God-Fearing. 


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