Iâ€™ve seen an interesting photo on Facebook a couple of times in recent days:
In case you canâ€™t see it, Iâ€™ll summarize. A woman told her daughter who had a crush on a classmate to replace the word â€œloveâ€ in 1 Corinthians 13 with his name instead. The girl found out her crush wasnâ€™t very kind and reevaluated his crush worthiness. The mom also has been teaching her daughter to use her own name in place of love to learn how to become the right type of person for someone else to like.
I donâ€™t know who took a photo of the text, but I found out that it is indeed by Diane Stark, and itÂ appeared in the Feb/March 2015 issue of Thriving Family, which is described as â€œa Christian marriage and parenting magazine from Focus on the Family.â€
Focus on the Family. I feel like I betrayed my principles by trying the exercise for myself.
Mariam is patient. (No, sheâ€™s really not.)
Mariam is kind. (Um â€¦)
I was reading the Amplified version of the Bible, so I eventually gave myself a pat on the back for not rejoicing at injustice and unrighteousness, but being happy when right and truth prevail. But getting zero points until then made me think, â€œWow, Iâ€™m failing here. No wonder I donâ€™t have a partner.â€
But after another day of contemplating, I realized the girl in the story could have seen her crush in a bad moment. She doesnâ€™t know the whole story; what if what she really saw was him defending himself or acting out because of things going on at home? And even if she witnessed behavior that was more nature than moment, that didnâ€™t mean her crush didnâ€™t deserve love.
Now I think the little girl, and some grown girls, need a slightly different lesson. Itâ€™s not that I or we as human beings shouldnâ€™t try to get better. Itâ€™s that I realize I am worthy of loveâ€”perfect, unconditional loveâ€”even when Iâ€™m not patient or kind. Even when I boast or envy. Even when Iâ€™m confused about right and wrong. Even when I fail.
I deserve love. And other imperfect people do, too.