Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday's Devotion: Put on the Clothes of Christ

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3: 12

My second child, Jed, was the most trying baby. He had to be touched at all times, and not just anybody, but by me. As a baby he slept in his bouncy seat, elevated on a box, next to my bed so my hand could lie on him all night. If I were to ever roll over and remove my arm, he would wake up and cry, very loudly, until I put my arm back. When I took a shower, I had to put him in a car seat and set him outside the shower. I had to place my hand on him as much as I could while I took a shower because he was inconsolable any other way. Five years later, he is still my touchy child. I'm not so much a touchy person, so you can imagine how having to constantly touch someone could eventually try one's patience. 

And that was exactly what he did. He tried my patience. 

As I got older, I was convicted of the lack of patience I had for the way my son showed love and felt loved. If you are familiar with the Five Love Languages, my son's primary love language is "physical touch". What I was NOT doing was sufficiently loving my son the way he needed to be loved. And, in turn, I was not showing him the proper love of Christ. 

For the past few months, we have been covering Colossians in church, taking a few verses at a time to really, really take a look at how we are to treat each other, love God, and grow in our relationship with Him and with others. This week's sermon was on Colossians 3: 12-14. What really hit me during the sermon was how much I was lacking in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and, mostly, patience. Don't get me wrong; I have been working on showing these fruits of the spirit for the past couple of months. I have been seriously stepping out of my comfort zone to reach others in a way that is more pleasing to the Lord. Unfortunately, that reaching out went to those outside my family. I tend to have such a high expectation for my own children in how they behave, how well they do in school, how they treat others, that I forget many times that they are children. And in that forgetting, I tend to lose my patience. I have begun placing reminders around the house on how to treat my own family. I have found myself loving my family the way I perceived the way I was loved growing up. (Does that make sense?) And that is not a legacy I want to pass on to my children. I want to have a better understanding with my kids. I want to be slow to anger (James 1:19 is SUCH a great verse!) And most importantly, I want to teach them how to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient with all others, especially those closest to home. 

I pray that you, too, will put on these "Clothes of Christ." Set an example for your family on how to treat others in love. It is a constant reminder for me that my family is precious to me, and I want them to see how precious we are to the Lord through my words and actions. 

As for that second, crazy child of mine. I find that when I really see him for the loving child he is (instead of that kid who constantly has a TON of energy and the endless need to touch), I am a better person for it. He makes my heart happy. 

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