I Don’t Love Her – Matthew 22:34-40

One of life’s sweetest blessings is when my grandchildren holler “GRAN – MAAAAA!” and come running to greet me. They haven’t knocked me down yet, but their exuberance is certainly felt. One Sunday after church, however, I wasn’t too happy about my grandson’s behavior.

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He’d been playing near the bleachers at the back of the gym, and I caught him making a mean, ugly face to a little girl. Appalled, I drew him aside. “Jackson, why did you do that?”

With his innocent dark eyes peering deep into mine he simply explained, “I do not love her.”

While I appreciated his openness, in my mind I pulled out my grandma to-do list and added, Teach grandchildren what Jesus said about love.

What Jesus said

My grandchildren’s greetings prove they know I love them and find me easy to love back. But what if loving isn’t always so easy?

Jesus said,“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:34-40 NIV).

The fact that we were commanded to love God inherently shows that it doesn’t come naturally, we get to choose to love him. Thirty-nine years ago my husband pursued a relationship with me, and I chose to respond. Love grew from our choices.

Doing love

I used to think it sounded arrogant for God to say, “You must love me,” and yet, because he is the Creator and Love itself, it’s perfectly reasonable. Without love, we’re nothing (see 1 John 4:8 and 1 Corinthians 13).

My grandson has gained more experience in practicing love—not only as a brother to his siblings, but now as an older foster brother to a rambunctious little guy. Like all of us, he’s learning that love involves challenges, and that’s OK. Without having to work at it, our love would only be an expression of feelings that come and go like the wind.

We need to remember demonstrating love doesn’t always bring immediate happiness, but its rewards are worth the investment. And ultimately, loving others helps us understand God’s enduring love for us. We can all be a little challenging sometimes, don’t you think?

Don’t ask my husband.

by Kathy Davis

How Grandparenting Has Not Changed – 1 Corinthians 13

As Jerry and I enjoyed our simple bean soup dinner, we realized it was a perfect evening to go on a quick shopping trip. Our next grandchild, another Miss Davis, is due to make her appearance in Florida sometime in January, and Grandpa Jerry was ready to find her a special blanket.

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Avalyn sleeping on the blanket her Aunt Amy and I made last year.

Grandpa’s hug

Jerry likes to begin his relationship with our grandchildren by giving them soft, cuddly blankets. One of our sons and his wife called it “Grandpa’s first hug” and enfolded their daughter in it before leaving the hospital.

I cleared the table, Jerry took a quick shower, and we were off to Wal-Mart where we are usually satisfied with the selection and prices.

No baby blankets?

Disbelief. There were two choices for baby girl blankets, and we didn’t like either of them. We both have an aversion to some forms of pink, so we’d hoped for several color options. The blanket had to be just right, something Jerry could imagine holding the little one in close to his heart.

The next store was the same. Now we had two failures at finding a good selection. We headed for a third store across town, wishing instead we could be home getting sleepy on the couch. Love drove us on.

In a large store full of toys and baby things, there were no blankets. We had no idea where else to look, except online. I have heard that one day the bulk of shopping will take place online, but this time it would take too long to order it, wrap and send it off.

What changes are next?

“Love never ends… So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:8 &13 ESV).

When my son was deployed a few years ago, it was surreal to think I would be able to exchange emails with him. I have copies of the few V-mail letters my Uncle Duane sent home while he fought in WWII. My grandmother would have dearly loved sitting at her dining room table reading current and frequent messages from her son. Her love and prayers were steadfast, however, as were mine for my son.

From trading posts to shopping online and from V-mail to email, the ways we exchange goods and services and connect with each other are continually evolving.

The scripture says love is eternal, and that of the three things that abide (live on, stay, continue), love is the greatest. Love will never go away. Whatever comes, there will always be a way to express love to others.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis