The Beginning of Any Relationship
18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~1 John 4:18
Take a deep look into your heart, think about all the relationships you have ever been in. What was your first relationship? Was it with your parents, grandparents, were you adopted, did you have any brothers or sisters whom you became very attached too as a child? Did you have a favorite teacher who you wished would be your teacher for life? Who was that person that you could say that what you had was real? I ask this because the answer for me was God. Yes I loved my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, and I will never forget my 3rd grade teacher Miss Rice who broke not just my heart but all the boys in the class when she got married. I fondly remember we all got together and refused to call her by her married name. My point is that all the relationships I had in my life as a young boy was not real. What do I mean by that? I mean the relationships where not forever relationships. Remember what Jesus said about things of this earth: everything shall wither and die, everything on earth shall pass away, nothing here is forever and that includes your relationships.
19 “We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” ~ 1 John 4:19-20
Relationships start with love, every relationship in our lives always begins with fearless, open, non-judgmental love. Think about the new born babies and how they lay in anyone’s arms. Think about how their heart is absolutely pure, this is the closest we will ever come to experiencing perfect pure love. They only cry for two reasons, when they are hungry and when they are in need of a proper changing. But God in his infinite wisdom also hot wired us to crave love, so babies tend to grow and be healthier when they are touched, held, and when they have two parents that supply this love. “Sarah Tufano, a nationally certified massage therapist, certified educator of infant massage and owner of Massage Therapy of Boston in Boston, Massachusetts, notes that infant and preemie touch and massage are “a powerful means of teaching children, from day one, that they are loved and deserving of love.” ~ Budzienski, Jaime (The Effect of Touch With Preemies: The power of touch helps preemies to thrive). We love because God first loved us, our spirit comes from God, therefore our first relationship is with God.
21 “And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” ~ 1 John 4:21
As a professional educator in an urban inner city school I see on a daily bases children who are not and have never been told they are loved. Ruffly 20% of the children in my school crave hugs, and when I give them these hugs they hold on for dear life. I am blessed to work in a Catholic School because I can tell them all that I love them and that I want only the best for them. In many instances these children focus better, work harder, try to excel once they know I am there for them. In my humble opinion that is what is wrong with our schools and our society at large. Our children are not being given the attention they need to grow and be successful. Parents instead give them electronics and call this love, they sent them on their way to play and entertain themselves and in the end because our children crave love they grow up not understanding what love is nor what a real relationship should be. A good example of this is when my older students say to me when I assign homework, “What do I get for doing this work?” Because some of the older kids have younger brothers and sisters this mentality rubs off on them. Some of my younger students say to their teachers, “What do I get for cleaning my mess? Are we going to get a prize?” Because they are not taught about love they also do not have respect: respect for themselves, nor others, because again their parents and our society has accepted this norm and we as a nation cannot fall in love with God let alone with each other. We see in our early lives that love equals fear, fear of being punished for something our children will never understand nor will be taught if it first does not come form their parents, the educational system, and from our churches. This is the beginning we have as children when it comes to relationships and love in the 21st century. How can we possibly love one another if we don’t begin practicing with our families, with our parents, and with God.
Today’s Challenge: Parents – write a letter to your children telling them that you love them. Children – write a letter to both of parents telling them how much you love them and are grateful for all the things they do for you. Everyone – write a letter to God telling him how much you love Him and need Him in your life. Ask Him for His divine mercy and everlasting love.
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As we head towards the season of Thanksgiving it is important to take note of all that we have to be thankful for. Like the disciples who learned all things are possible through the love and compassion of God so to can we the many sons and daughters of Christ make miracles happen for those who are in need and thus in our own way feed the multitude. I urge you to support inner city children through the gift of education by clicking the following link.