My weekly to-do includes laundry, dishes, picking up, putting things away, taking out the garbage, etc. Yes, the boys help, but it is something I still like to do. My work schedule gives me time in the morning to put the house in order which makes me happy as I serve my family.
What would happen if I did these things with the wrong motives? What if I did it to show how “lucky” my family was to have a wife and mother life me? What if I did it so that others thought well of me? What if I did it so God thought I was good?
Why do I do what I do?
I do it because I love my family. My motivation, my modus operandi, is because it is my way of showing my family that they are important, that I value them and want to care for them. Yes, they are capable of caring for themselves and can do so very nicely. Yet, it is out of love for them that I continue to wash and clean.
First Corinthians 13 is often called the “Love Chapter” because it outlines the way to live life. “If I speak human or angelic languages but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faithso that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for languages, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13)
These verses are often read at weddings, but they need to be lived out in marriage, in parenting, and in any relationship. We need to do things in love, forgive others, not lord over them the wrongs they have done in the past. God doesn’t do that to us, we surely should not do that to others.
My heart is for my family. It brings me joy to do the things I do, it makes me happy to meet their needs without being asked to do them. My motive for caring for my home is that by doing it, I am caring for my family.
What is your motive? Read through the verses above and try putting your name in place of the word Love. If the things you say aren’t actually your actions, then ask God to help you develop those missing parts in your own heart.
Love should be your motive and it should be mine.