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Christian Living

True Christian living requires us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth

Love Notes

Introduction
By Frank L. Hoffman

Fairy tales begin with "once upon a time there was...", and most of the time they involve the forces of good against the forces of evil, with good triumphant over evil; but nowhere is God involved.

Reality also usually does "its thing" without the presence of God, but all too often with the presence of violence, pain, suffering, and death.  We bring up our boys to be macho.  In recent times, we have been trying to do the same with our girls.  It's time this trend stopped, for as Jesus said, "all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52).  Violence of any kind only produces more violence; it never brings about a lasting peace.

Isn't it time we start believing Jesus' words and start becoming the peacemakers and children of God Jesus wants us to be, and be blessed as He promises? (Matthew 5:9) 

Because we bring violence instead of peace into our family life, we ruin half of our marriages, ending them in "bloody" divorces, and sometimes with real blood.  Our marriages should live as long as we live and only end with our natural deaths.  This will only happen if both the husband and wife "beat their swords into plowshares" (Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3) and work at being loving peacemakers.

This little series is dedicated to helping us concentrate on bringing the fruit of the Spirit into our family life and learning how to let it mature.  And just in case we've forgotten what this fruit basket contains, here is a little reminder from Galatians 5:22-23:

  • Love - To truly love requires us to to give up our selfishness and put all others before us: first God, then our families and in particular our spouses, then all others, including humans and animals.  True love does no harm!
     

  • Joy - Our joy comes when we realize we are loved by God, our spouse, our children and others.
     

  • Peace - To have peace we must stand against violence of any kind and, most importantly, keep it out of our families, even to the extent of removing violence from our plates by stopping the eating of other living beings or their by-products.  Only our selfishness seeks to destroy another's peace.  To truly have peace we must be thankful for what we have.
     

  • Patience - As with peace, to have patience we must be truly thankful and content with what we have, and not let the forces of greed cause us to become impatient, especially with others.
     

  • Kindness - To have kindness bestowed upon us, we have to extend it to others; and as with love, kindness does no harm and seeks the best for others - all others.
     

  • Goodness - To experience and share goodness we must eliminate fear from our lives, which comes with our perfecting God's love within us; for as John tells us, "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).  Such a state of being fills us with the goodness of God and the desire to share it with others.
     

  • Faithfulness - Faithfulness comes when we stop blocking our trust in God and each other.  If both a husband and wife feel this way about each other, they will remain faithful, too.
     

  • Gentleness - Gentleness is something we all too often lose as we grow up.  The young of many species have lived together without harming one another.  As adults we need to learn to return to that childlike way of living; and as we do, we may just find that we may experience a taste of the Peaceable Kingdom that Isaiah prophesied about (Isaiah 11:6-9).  And, as we learn this, we will find a gentleness within our families, too.
     

  • Self-control - To have self-control is to not let ourselves become embroiled in the violent, uncompassionate, and unloving ways of the world.  Self-control also comes with being thankful and satisfied with what we have, especially, our spouse.

Love notes are a way of helping us to perfect God's perfect love in ourselves and others.

Your comments are welcome:

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