Monthly Archives: June 2011

Agape Love…to cover in silence

One of the Bible Studies I have been working through over the last several months is Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. Right before I misplaced the book (this weekend while cleaning and unpacking) there was a section that really challenged me that I wanted to share.

The context is Agape Love and 1 Corinthians 13. I’ve heard this scripture read so many times in my life, and it has challenged me in my human relationships (phileos and eros and storge) but it never struck me to read this in the context of Agape Love. Beth challenges us to read it aloud replacing the word “love” with “agape,” and in doing so I was particularly challenged by verse 7.

Agape always protects…always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The greek word for protects is stego and translated it means: “to cover in silence.”

When it comes to my friendships, I can honestly say that what is shared with me stays with me. I have had friends share the deepest corners of their hearts with me. They have shared their weaknesses and transgressions, and my strongest internal values tell me never to speak of those words that were trusted to me other than in a personal prayer between me and God.

But when it comes to my family, especially my girls, it is way to easy for me share my concerns with others. Maybe it is a frustration with grades or organization issues or just general disagreements. If someone asks, I am way to willing to share my frustrations about our family weaknesses. When it comes to my family, I need to do a lot more “covering in silence.”

We all mess up in life, but one of the most painful experiences in life can be knowing that your weaknesses and transgressions are the subject of the discussion of others.

I also love how this verse ends…Agape always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Those last three characteristics are so much easier when you know that love is protected. That our deepest secrets, daily struggles and our past transgressions are “covered in silence” by those who care for us most.

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Life Lessons Learned while Substitute Teaching Middle School Band

For the last month and a half of this school year, I helped out in the band hall.  Things had gotten a bit crazy in there, so an extra set of eyes and ears were helpful, along with the presence of another adult.  While middle school students may be calm, obedient and very respectful of adults in other areas of the country, in the public schools of Broward County, Florida they can be a bit crazy, especially when many of them are put together in one place.

And in our band classes about 60-70% of the students were middle school boys.

As the boys entered the band hall they were very excited to be together.  They fist pumped each other, they threw things at one another, they chased each other around the room, often running on top of the chairs in their desire to hit or attack one another.  They were doing exactly what their “boy instincts” told them to do with little to no self-control.  Despite our list of band hall rules and daily reminders about them, the boy’s craziness always reeked havoc on the band hall.  At the end of the day, as they looked back on the aftermath of the chaos, they were always apologetic as they ran off to their next class, and I always spent a good amount of time each day cleaning up after their poor choices.

In reflecting back on my last month of teaching, I saw a lot of myself in those middle school boys.  So much of my day is spent satisfying my instincts and desires over and above the plan God has for my life.  How easy it is to let my “flesh” guide my actions when I need to walk by the spirit (Gal. 5:16-18).  I can only imagine how much time God must spend cleaning up after my life… in my relationships with others and in my desire to do selfish things with the resources He has given me.

I’m excited for the summer! It will be good to be back home with my girls again. 🙂

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