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Tag: love

Enduring Love

Have you ever found it difficult to love those that are kind toward you? Most times, loving someone like this takes little effort. However, in those challenging moments, we find it difficult to love those that have hurt us. Loving someone in the difficult times requires a patient enduring love, but love has the ability to grow. Here’s what I mean.

The day my husband’s son was born, I cried. Yes, you read that right. After seven years of marriage and two children, my husband and I separated. During our separation, he entered another relationship and had a third child. So, if I had hope that perhaps one day we would reconcile our marriage, after my stepson was born all hope seemed lost. 

The dynamics of my life had changed. I became a single working mom and student. My favorite pastime was crying. Anger, confusion, and doubt became very familiar to me. Then, without warning and in the midst of my heartache, my mother passed. Loving my husband was the last thing I wanted to do. So, I talked over my woes with anyone who would listen: family, friends, but the best listeners were strangers on the New York City subways. Eventually, I did seek a professional therapist though.

I also sought help from God. Anytime I could find Him, I did. I started going to church on my lunch-hour to pray for strength and the strength and joy came slowly. I felt I could do this and deep down I had hoped for reconciliation, but I didn’t know if I could accept my husband’s child. However, I was willing if we could repair our marriage.

After three years, we did find love again and reconciled our marriage, but there was still the question of if I could accept my stepson as a member of our family. I had to stretch my heart — not much — just a little. My heart was not broken beyond repair; it still worked. 

Over the years, our family relocated from New York to North Carolina and my stepson spent weeks at a time with us. I soon realized how kind, helpful and respectful he was. In time, my heart began to stretch more. Then, as our children grew and bonded during his visits, I admired their love and laughter for one another and my heart began to stretch even more.

It is true that no one graces this green earth without the approval of Jesus Christ. I saw that in my stepson. It didn’t matter how he got here. What mattered most was he had arrived. He is a part of our family with a very important purpose. 

I learned no matter how hopeless a situation might seem, not all is lost. If you open your heart, just a little, there’s a Godly love, a mature love, a patient love, that endures. This love can and will stretch your heart. We just have to be willing.

Contributor – A. Dorcent 

#Children, #Patience, love

What does the Bible say about going to #church as a family?

It is vitally important for families to attend church, praise, and worship the Lord together, which affirms the stance that we choose to serve God regardless of what other households have decided (Joshua 24:15).  My childhood memories include my parents, my sister, and I, as we sat together, singing, clapping, and repeating the “affirmation of faith,” which summarized our church’s biblical beliefs.  My parents taught me early on that serving the Lord was important, so I joined the choir as a child.  

God commands parents and caregivers to raise children on biblical principles so that if they go astray, their foundation will lead them back to God.  This is true, especially for myself, who went astray after my parents divorced when I was in middle school.  For many years, I floundered and struggled with my identity in the world.  One day I realized that my identity was within the body of Christ, found my way back to church after being witnessed to by a local pastor, and have continued to rebuild my faith since then.  

God desires us to experience life through our interactions with others, within our family, through involvement in our support networks, as we work alongside employers and colleagues, and in everything that we do.  It is all about our purpose – to worship God, to witness of His goodness to others, and to profess our faith to everyone.  A fond childhood memory is the song “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” because as the Father has loved Him, He has loved me (John 15:9).  This hymn holds special meaning because although the particular details of childhood church service escape me, the feelings of the assurance that this song brought me still rest deep within me.  As the words wash over me, the hope that only rests in Jesus and the salvation that He brings warms and renews my heart.   As a child, I was taught this love and filled with His Spirit and is now reconnected to the true vine.  

Another childhood memory is of Willie Banks and the Messengers singing “Lord, I Know You Been So Good.”  This song was sung in church, at local gospel concerts, and at home around warm slices of an old-fashioned molasses cake.  Memories of church from my childhood all include my family as a unit serving and praising the Lord which set the precedence for instilling those same values in my own children – the importance of attending church, serving in the church, and praising and worshipping God as a family.  God wants all of us to give our children these same types of memories. 

Contributor: E. Taylor

#church, #memories, love

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