Most of us have heard the old saying about someone “lookin’ for love in all the wrong places.” Some of those places might be in sinful relationships, seeking acceptance or recognition, money and worldly possessions. In desperate situations where true love and safety does not exist many turn to drugs, alcohol, any escape from the pain. I will always remember some of the little boys in the slums of Uganda sniffing their drugs from the empty water bottles that they had picked up from the trash. And why not...they live with out the most basic physical needs...food, shelter, safety; and the more important emotional needs of family, love and protection. A drug induced escape was a welcome. I held one of those little boys in my arms and it struck me that he was no older than my boys...age 7-10-ish. As his drugged glassy eyes looked up at me, I prayed for him. I prayed that the love of the LORD would free him from the hell he was in. How will this little boy find that love? How will he hear it if no one tells him? How will he hear it?
As I am journeying with my children home through adoption and considering some of the hard places that they have come from, I have been asking myself if I am defining love in ways that they understand. Today, I failed miserably in this. I’m sick and my arm is hurting REALLY bad. My understanding and love for the children has been low today because I have been focused on me. My old goals surfaced - just wanting them to act right. MY sin and theirs was making it very hard for me to connect with them...or even to want to. Yet what a perfect opportunity for me to die to myself. “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Have you ever been around someone who spoke a language that is foreign to you? I remember once being in a foreign country for just 3 and 1/2 weeks. I had not realized how wore out I was trying to constantly understand what was being said and telling them what I needed until I got back home. In such a short time I remember being so grateful to be around English again so that I could “relax”.
Using this example with my children (but also for others that the LORD brings into our lives), am I using a “foreign” love language? Are they feeling confused with what I am saying and doing?
“...have we learned to “translate” our love into actions and a way of relating that will bring about connection, healing and transformation, or are we speaking a “foreign” love language that our children (our others) are not equipped to interpret, understand and receive?” (From Created To Connect).
The LORD gives me the perfect language to use to communicate His love. I know that you know these verses, but think of them in terms of a language of love that others and especially those that we love, can understand.
“Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love hears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (I Cor. 13:4-8) I was irritable today, and rude, and wanted my own way...But I LOVE them and I want them to know it.
To end this post, one last reminder of HIS love and hope to us all from Created To Connect...
“Undoubtedly we will fall short far too often in consistently speaking and living a “love langage” that connects with our children in this deeply transforming way. But we all must recognize that what we have been called to is a journey, and we are not meant to travel it alone. God has provided us with helpful resources, insightful people, one another and intimately His Word and is Spirit as companions and guides for this journey. As we continue to faithfully travel with our children toward healing and wholeness, let us pray that we become increasingly those who, by God’s Spirit, are led to love our children as we ourselves are loved by God.”
We Journey on for His Glory!!!!
(Thank you Karlie for these great pictures of my boys!!! Love you)