My children continue to teach me daily so many things fundamental to life and faith. I have wrote before about how Carter has taught me to always remain joyful in my prayers and walk with God – which is extremely fitting for the holiday season. Yet, they teach me so much more than I could ever put into words. As I was reflecting on things this morning, I saw the obvious love shared between the amazingly beautiful children Taylor and I are raising.
Taylor loves to tell everyone. She will tell you to watch as she is holding Margaret, and she will call Carter over and tell him to tell her hi. Carter can never tell her hi once though. His face begins to beam as he will say “hi, hi, hi, hi, hi” repeatedly, sometimes for minutes. And she just smiles. That beautiful, toothless, gummy, and cheeky smile ear to ear as her little nose wrinkles up.
We were nervous having a little girl because as amazing as our son is, he is 300% boy. He is wild. He does not stop moving. He is crazy. Yet, among all of the hectic and crazy he is, he is the sweetest loving boy with the biggest heart. First thing he does when he wakes up his he wants to go kiss her and make sure she is okay. If she is sleeping, he tells EVERYONE around to “shhhhh” with a finger over his mouth as he hushes you. When she is awake he wants to try to hold her, to give her kisses, to share all of his toys with her – literally all of them. I mean, he will stack all of his toys around her and it is so stinking cute and funny.
Time will come when they grow up and they are bound to fight. But Maggie is without a doubt Carter’s favorite person in the world. And no matter how hard she is crying, if she hears her big brother in front of her saying “hi” and trying to love on her, she cheers up.
Which brings me to grownup life and off my soap box of bragging on my amazing children. Where is this love in our churches? In our families? In our friendships? In our lives? We all know that we often times avoid people or just offer formalities because we feel like we have to. We have lost that joyful and giddy love for each other that we are called to have and we once had. I am as guilty of it as anyone though. I never greet people at church with the same love and affection I receive when I get home. While Taylor is obviously happy to see me, we are “grownups” so we act a bit differently about it. But I must admit, I would love for everyone to welcome me with the same joy as my children and dogs. Margaret lights up, my dogs go wild, and Carter runs to me with a giant smile for a hug, and then proceeds to drag me to whatever it is he was interested in before I got home.
We do such a bad job at living life together. Where is the love and excitement to just see one another? We love to see people when they have something for us or it benefits us, but otherwise it is often just formalities or even an inconvenience. We are told to welcome each other as Christ has welcomed us (Rom 15:7). Christ stepped down out of heaven, came to earth and lived as a man to DIE for us an excruciating death. Yet as he is living building up to this on earth, he hangs out with the very people he later dies for. Where is that love for one another in us?
1 Peter 5:14 tells us to greet each other with “a kiss of love.” I would honestly be a bit creeped out of someone just walked up to me and kissed me to say hi if you are not my wife or kids. Yet this is the loving attitude we are to have when we welcome and see each other.
My kids are not perfect, though as Papa Bear I will argue they are about as close as they come. Just ask the kids in my youth group, my daughter is the most chill baby ever, and my son used to be before terrible two’s hit! But learn from them as they have such a love for each other. Carter has been in love with his sister, captivated by being a big brother since we brought her home from the hospital, and she has been just as loving towards him since she has had any responsiveness and such at a few weeks old. Let us love one another selflessly, and truly enjoy each other’s company and friendship.
Greet each other with joy and love. Love one another like my kids. Love one another as Christ has loved you. Just love one another and truly be joyful in the relationships God has placed in our lives. That is what we are called to, after all.
I love you guys, and so does Jesus. I hope you continue to long for this water, and continue to drink from it as well. Until next time, blessings to you and your family,