My son is a tween (10–13-year-old), I love him dearly, but can I tell you we butt heads often. Many of our intense moments involve him declaring emphatically,
"You don't care at all!"
"You never listen to me!"
"All you want me to do is work and never have any fun!"
My son completely overlooks all that I've ever done and provided for him simply because he isn't allowed to do what he wishes, or I don't give the response he was expecting.
Reflecting on this I can quickly conclude that he is simply a victim of the foolishness that is bound in his juvenile heart. As his mother my experience and knowledge are far superior, and I of course would never make such rash declarations.
It’s not just because he is a boy
Anyone who knows me knows that my favourite colour is purple, I however hate grape flavoured foods. One morning a few years ago I woke up and really wasn't feeling well at all. My husband got out of bed and headed to the pharmacy to get me some vitamin C. He returned a short while later with grape flavoured soluble tablets and took the time to explain that he chose the purple ones for me. All that was coursing through my mind however was "If this man really cared or REALLY loved me, he would know to NOT bring me the grape flavour!"
In the same way that my son completely overlooks the things I do for him and concludes that I don't love him, and I don't care, I completely disregarded my husband's crack of dawn act of service and came to the same conclusion; he didn't really love me, he didn't care at all.
It's the foolishness of man
How many times over the course of our lives have we been displeased with the turn of the events and concluded that God simply doesn't care? We've mentally re-enacted scenarios and replayed conversations and just cannot believe that God truly loves us yet allowed everything to go down the way it did.
The primary purpose of loving and being loved is not to ensure the happiness of ourselves or those around us but sadly that is what many persons have condensed love to be; how good we make each other feel. We are constantly chasing various iterations of love that will not last.
Feelings are not facts
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah chapter 17 verse 9)
God gave us every single emotion that we possess, those that are considered good and those that bad. It is important to acknowledge that they exist and do have an impact on us. We cannot however allow how we feel about a particular person or issue to be the main driving force behind our decisions and actions.
Many times, the very things that do make us happy are the most harmful. Having several conversations late into the night with that special friend makes you happy but it's creating distance between you and your spouse. Buying that pint of ice cream to curl up with Netflix every weekend makes you happy but its packing on the pounds which pressures your joints which causes unending pain. Being your child's friend makes you happy so you ignore their disobedience but that is setting them up to be a complete rebel in adulthood with no respect for authority. Do you see the pattern?
No! Does not feel loving
My son tells me often that I treat him as if he is not my son.
When does he say this?
Usually right after he has been disciplined for one thing or the other. When we don't feel good about something our hearts (desperately wicked) will fill our minds with all kinds of wrong thoughts and conclusions.
The Bible correctly informs us about discipline, telling us: "For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights." (Proverbs chapter 3 verse 12)
My son doesn't like to be disciplined and receives it as me being unloving towards him when in fact the Bible says the exact opposite. As humans we are natural pleasure seekers and want the people in our lives to always make us feel good and happy. We do not like God's discipline and just like my son, consider it in the moment to be unloving.
Love that constantly has us feeling butterflies, with a permanent smile plastered on our faces having no issues because we are never told no and never feel frustrated mentally, physically, spiritually, financially or sexually is simply a simulacrum (unsatisfactory imitation) of the true love God intended for us to express towards each other as that does not describe the love God has for us.
We are all familiar with the characteristics outlined in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, right off the bat we are told that love is patient and kind; boundaries. Further down we see that love is not self-seeking, sacrifice. Love rejoices with the truth, hard conversations. Love keeps no record of wrongs; acknowledge that the people we love are not perfect.
How we love is the key identifier of our Christianity. If we do not view God's love, all aspects of it, through the correct lens we will be incapable of truly loving and being loved by others.
Danelle M. Pinnock first emerged as a writer when she began chronicling her journey with God, through a debilitating sickness. Her authentic reflections provided encouragement to many and resulted in her first publication “31 Day Devotional- Quiet Time.”
This full time homemaker, a proud Jamaican, lives in Kingston with her husband Raul and their two children Levi and Zhuri. Along with her freelance writing, she is a worship leader at her church and serves with her husband, a cancer survivor, on the marriage ministry team.
Visit her website, (danellempinnock.com) to learn how God guides a woman with a background in Chemistry, Business Management and Public Health to skillfully pen His methods and His ways through sickness, marriage and parenting.