Friday, February 21, 2014

The Gift of A Unique Opportunity to Love Well

"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8).

When you have the opportunity of raising a special needs child you have more available occasions to express true love than others. It can be easier to love a compliant child than a ten-year-old throwing a temper-tantrum in the middle of Walmart's floor. Anyone can love a cute and compliant child easily but when it gets tough can you still love unconditionally?

Truly if we look at ourselves closely, are we not also both of those kids toward our Heavenly Father from time to time? Are we not the kind of kids who act compliant and cute at certain times and then at other times throw full blown temper tantrums?

You see, Jesus came down to us. He sacrificed everything, even to the point of death on a cross to save us even while we were throwing fits and wallowing in sin. This is true love.

True love does not look to get something back from the other person, true love just pours itself out.

True love does not work as an exchange program, if you do this for me, I will do that for you.

True love willingly and painfully dies to all selfishness, it is not self-focused but instead God-focused.

When you have a child with special needs you are getting the opportunity to love like Christ and it is that kind of love that moves mountains. That kind of love changes things. It shines His light brightly to a watching world. It keeps you focused on Him because He is the ultimate source of love. He is the one who poured out everything because He thought you were worth it. Now as a parent, it is your turn to do the same thing.

When you have a special needs child it can cause a strain on a marriage but when you are living true love, by focusing outwardly on others rather than yourself you can and will get through. The One who is love will empower you to love sacrificially.

After all, Love is patient and kind. Love is not rude or irritable. Love never gives up! Jesus is all of these things toward us. He doesn't get impatient. He is always kind. He is not irritated with us. He is not rude to force His way. Most of all He never ever gives up on those that are His! He is the visible image of the invisible God! He is beautiful! He gives you, as a parent of a special needs child, more opportunities to experience this kind of love.

Father, help me to love well because you first loved me. Help me to pour out your love on others because I am so filled with the source of Love from you. Help me see every sacrifice in my life as an opportunity to love well. Help me love like You.

~Angela Parsley

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