Monday night’s post from James 2 presented us with a reminder about loving our neighbors as ourselves. And I’ve come to realize how often young people, in our naiveté and self-centeredness, neglect this responsibility and think we know better than our parents. To put it bluntly, that sometimes results in treating them like crap.
But if you really love your neighbors, that means you love your closest neighbors. And who might that be? Well, whoever you live with–most likely your parents, siblings, children or spouse.
For me, “loving my neighbor as myself” means applying this command to the way I treat my parents. At 21 and a college grad with a full-time job, it can be so easy for me to roll my eyes during a disagreement with them and say, “Whatever mom and dad, I’m an adult.”
That’s not what Jesus would do. That’s not what the Word tells me to do.
I live with my parents. They are my closest neighbors. (And they give me a rent-free roof over my head as I dig myself out of student loan debt for the next year or so!)
And, I am to love them. And love them like I love myself. No questions asked. And no blowing them off when I’m mad. Cause that’s not love.
The truth is, my family should come first in my life, after God. No guy, no job, no hobby will take the place of them. I mean yes, one day I hope to be married. But until then, my parents are the most important.
And, learning to love my parents in this authentic way is the perfect preparation for marriage. If I want to be married someday, I’ve gotta learn how to love someone I live with, which includes accepting their faults, flaws, failures, annoying habits, etc. Honestly, if I allow myself to be under the impression that my future spouse is going to be perfect and a joy to live with my whole life…ha! I’m in for a reality check. (Can I get a married person to back me up here?!) Long story short, if I think I can disregard the way I treat my parents now, I will be ill-prepared for marriage later on.
So…I’m gonna do it. I’m going to love
my parents as I love myself.
What neighbor of yours are you neglecting to love today? I encourage you to set it right. It’s worth it.