Saturday, May 10, 2008

Free to Love

I work in a public high school and, while our kids for the most part aren't terrible, a large number of them do have behavioral problems. Since I'm not a certified teacher, I don't normally have my own classes. This semester, however, I was assigned two non- teaching classes that are mine.

My first class is large but very well behave. My second class is small and . . . well . . . not so very well behave. At times, some of the students can be very difficult and very trying. As a result, I enjoy my first class but don't enjoy my second class as much. At times, I can get very annoyed with them.

Lately, I've been focusing a lot on learning about Father's love. I'm learning that his love for me is not determined by my behavior. He doesn't love me when I'm good and then withhold his love when I'm bad. His love for me never changes. It's a constant that I can always count on.

Because of the differences in my classes' behavior, I was tending to treat them differently. Our educational system is part of the world system and, for the sake of order and safety, rules must be enforced. Whenever necessary, I have to deal with discipline problems but what I'm learning is that true love is not affected by poor behavior. Father is showing me this truth in a small, very practical way.

If there is anything teenagers love more than getting in trouble, it's food . . . especially free food. A couple of weeks ago, I bought some lollipops and gave them to my first class but hesitated about giving them to my second class. This week, I bought some chocolate candy and gave a piece to each of my students in my first class but decided I wasn't going to give any to my other class. After all, I didn't want to reward their poor behavior. Father, however, wouldn't let me get away with that. He gently showed me that love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) He is love and he doesn't reward those who behave well and withhold his love from those who don't behave as well.

Following his example, I decided to give to each class equally. Instead of rewarding good behavior, I chose to give because I love and that change in attitude has made a major difference in me. Will this affect how those students behave? I don't know but probably not so I'm giving freely with no expectations. I'm not trying to manipulate their behavior through a reward system. I'm just learning how to love with no strings attached.

I'm my Father's daughter and he loves me unconditionally. Therefore, his love is compelling me to also love others unconditionally. I don't have to withhold love because he doesn't withhold his love from me. I'm free to love with no expectations. This is an exciting way to live because giving up expectations frees us from the bondage of disappointment.

This is still a new way for me to live and I'm really just in the kindergarten stage of this lesson. However, I do know that Father has begun a work in me that he intends to complete. As I grow in understanding that he freely gives his love, I'm now free to to go and do the same.

4 comments:

Nicole said...

Aida!

wonderful learning example of Father's love and affection! That is something I am trying to grasp as well! He see's every single person through those loving comassionate eyes of his and I know that through those eyes he can see that each and every one of us has a heart that can produce that kind of love as well! If we have the capability to understand what real love is, than we can also live like he lives and loves and he loves! Beautiful things that are producing in you Aida!

I love you

Love, Nicki!

Aida said...

Hi Nicki,

I love it when I see Father's life being displayed in me through the every day situations of life since that's where it counts. It really is very freeing to just love without any strings attached. It frees us from the burden of trying to determine who has done enough to earn our love.

True thankfulness goes beyond the words, "Thank you, Jesus." True thankfulness results in us freely giving the love that we have receive.

I'm glad you're back. I've missed you.

Love,
Aida

Bino Manjasseril said...

Aida,
Good to know that Father is doing some little (but important) things through your life!
It is not really the extend of the impact we make in this world, or the measure/size of our actions are so important, but the genuineness of our heart. Even if it touches one person, it matters! I too am newly learning this in my own life.

Aida said...

Thanks, Bino.

I believe our life in Christ is often made up of the little every day acts of love that we do. That's what Father is wanting. He desires us to just love even if no one else recognizes it but him.

You're right. It's the genuineness of our heart that matters. I'm reminded of your blog about the "Fragility of life." We need to learn to shift our focus from the things that don't really matter and instead focus our attention on the things that do, which is loving Father and the people he sends our way.