Stop pulling your sister’s hair. Please pick that toy up. Don’t lick that! These words fill up the sound walls in our house at some point during the week. Maybe even a day, let’s be honest. I’ll even throw in a put your pants back on for good measure.
Sometimes I must admit, I’m not very good at this mothering thing. I find myself wishing I were more patient, kinder, more loving. I get frustrated when my girls don’t listen or when they do the complete opposite of what I’m asked them to. Often I feel like I’m just speaking words and they’re going in one ear, out the other.
In their defense, I say a lot of different words to my children. Some are words of protection, others to teach them good behavior and manners. Some to show my unconditional love for them. And while they’re all important words, there are two words I want them to remember most.
Yes, these are the two. I’ve thought long and hard about this. These are the two words that if they forget everything else I’ve taught them but remember these, my mama heart will be so full.
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)
You love. These are the two words I say to my 17 month old when I’m trying to teach her to play nicely with her sister, not to pull hair, and not to hit the dog. “Georgia,” I’ll say firmly but graciously, “You love.” She immediately stops whatever devious act she was about to complete or in the middle of doing. She puts her head down, smiles, and begins to love on said person or animal. I find it cute and endearing. But it’s also taught me something. You love. It seems like such a simple command really, but one we make so complicated.
I love this verse from Romans 12. Verse 9 says “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” When I think about raising girls to be that bold for Jesus, to really love others the way He intended us to, it makes my heart race.
You see, I want to raise girls that are warriors in their own right. Girls that are fiercely protective of the Kingdom of God and its people. Girls that aren’t afraid to stand up for the lost. The broken. The devalued. The forgotten of society.
They choose not to get caught up in the little things. They don’t try to figure people out, judge their situations. They simply love. I want them to be a beacon of hope and love for those hurting. Those that think they are unlovable. Unworthy.
I want to raise my girls to be that bold for Jesus.
I want to raise girls that are so immersed in God’s word and truth that they can recognize the enemy’s lies immediately and without question. They call out Satan for his attempts of creating division among God’s sons and daughters (James 4:7). Something he does all too well. They rebuke his lies and help set others free from the bondage of sin.
You love, I will say.
Regardless of whether someone looks different than you, comes from a different neighborhood, has different life experiences than you. None of it matters. Show them Jesus. Fight for love.
You love. I’ve realized over time that those two little words carry a lot of weight. Those two words stir up something almost unexplainable in me. Those two words give me motivation to put my mama warrior boots on and here’s why.
In order for me to raise my girls to fight in this way, I must live it first. I must be the one who goes out on the front lines, with my palms sweaty and fear tickling the back of my neck. I must stand there, bold in faith. I must love the way I want them to love.
I must serve God’s people in ways I have never served before, and they must watch me do this. This will mean going out of my comfort zone. It will mean going deeper with people, deeper with God. My children must watch their mama show love and kindness to others even when it’s not reciprocated or even welcomed.
I admit, I’ve been fighting for love from the sidelines. I’ve been too safe. I’ve been watching other women go fearlessly into the unknown, trusting God to lead them; waiting in anticipation for the day when I would be brave enough to say, “me too.” I am ready to fight too. No longer can I fight from inside my comfort zone. It’s time to step up and step out.
Mama’s, the time has come for us to stop standing on the sidelines and watching. For years many of us have watched our sisters in Christ brave the battles alone; cheering them on secretly, but never joining them in the battle. Well friend, can I tell you this very scary thing? The time has come where we put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), we stand strong on His word, and we fight.
We fight for our children to love better.
We fight for the sanctity of our marriages.
We fight for other women in hard seasons.
We fight for those that cannot fight for themselves.
We fight for those that have gone before us, fearless in faith.
We fight for love.
Freedom from sin.
We fight for the Kingdom of God.
I want to raise my girls to be that bold for Jesus. I want to raise them to know what it looks like to be on the battle lines for the Kingdom of God. My heart’s desire is that they know The One who first loved us (1 John 4:19) and they carry that love from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes and then pass it onto others. Love God, love others. Yes, my sweet children, you go love. And I will love too.
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”