Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Soft Love/Real Love

Sometimes being a parent means saying 'no' to a soft love. Peter Leithart writes this on the concept of love in Song of Songs ("Song of Songs: Love's Violence"):

Love is “as strong as the grave” and ardor “as hard as Sheol.” [...] Love is not a soft passion.

But more, love is a match for every difficulty Israel faces. The sea that threatens Israel may be strong, but Yahweh’s love is more than enough. A king may be harsh, and invaders cruel, but love is as strong as death.

Pharaoh subjected Israel to bitter and hard bondage, but love is as hard as Sheol. Israel’s own hearts may be stubborn, stony as flint, and they may set their faces like rock against the Lord, but His love is more stubborn still.
As parents, I'm sure you have days when it feels like a lot of tough love is needed. On those days, I encourage you to remember a couple of things.

First, that God's love for us stubborn, rebellious children offers a model for love that is always strong, always just, and always seeking repentance and reconciliation.

And second, that those days are an opportunity to remind your children how much you (and God) want good for them. That means showing them real love, even if it's not always warm and fuzzy on the outside.

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