This mama job is hard some days.
The boys got to bed late last night….for a lot of reasons. One woke up tired. One woke up mean. It’s the mean that is hard for my heart to look beyond.
As he spewed his negative and his mean on the morning, I found myself reacting, distancing myself from the venom.
I hate seeing my response to my children when they stomp on my wounds. The distancing, the curt tones and words? Sooo not what my picture of “good mama” resembles. My instinct is to withhold the tenderness, the love he so desperately craves. In an attempt to protect myself.
But the truth is sometimes I have to risk injury to love others. Especially my boys who have issues of their own by virtue of the fact they’re adopted. It hurts to have one of them reject me, my attempts to love them through their pain.
It injures to have the mean glare directed my way because I am the safe person in their lives to vent on.
To have it directed at a heart that still struggles with rejection sometimes? It’s like rubbing lemon juice into an open wound. The sting and the hurt make me want to recoil.
But Jesus . . .
He loved those who spat upon Him, those who pressed a crown of dagger-like thorns onto His head, those who nailed His wrists to a rough wooden cross.
He loved them enough to pray for them. That His Father would forgive them for they knew not what they were doing.
What a challenging example to emulate.
Today, as I drove the boys to school, Jesus impressed upon me the truth that what my boys need most—especially when “mean” comes to visit them and spew onto me—is my calm, gentle, consistent love for them.
They need the reassurance that even when they’re ugly, they are still loved. They don’t quite understand the idea of Jesus’ love for them being unconditional. God has given me the calling to model this for them.
Even when the glares pierce my spirit.
When their words and tones and anger shatter the calm morning I tried to establish.
Love needs to be lived out, even when it’s undeserved. Even when it’s not returned.
For my boys, it needs to be the calming factor directed toward a chaotic spirit. As I grow better at loving them through these rough seas, my hope is that they will see glimpses of Jesus and grow to love Him and be wrapped up in His love.
This is my hope. My prayer. Especially on the mornings when “mean” comes to visit our home.
What about you? How do you show love to those who are difficult to love? What truths has God taught you in loving the unlovely?