I was in the bedroom creating a seminar on the “Love One Another” passages in the Bible when my youngest daughter, who was then in kindergarten, came into the bedroom. Dana was fixing herself lunch so she could go to her afternoon kindergarten class and asked me to open the peanut butter jar.
My study had so absorbed me that I did not pay attention to her. Each time she asked, I automatically answered, “Yes, honey,” or “Sure, in just a minute.”
Finally, exasperated with her mother’s lack of concern for her needs, Dana took the peanut butter jar and whacked me on the back with it. She got my attention!
Though it hurt, I could not get angry, for the Lord impressed on my heart at the instant of contact with the jar that my study of love had not made me a loving, caring mother, attentive to the needs of my kids.
During the last week of His life on earth Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment:
“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
We can do a lot of talking about love. We can study the scriptures. We can intellectually know the difference between agapë, philio, and eros love; however, everything is useless if it does not come alive within and through us.
The way we treat the kids and our attitude toward them will speak louder than any words we utter.
Relational ministry is taking the lid off the peanut butter jar the first time we are asked. In doing so, we tell the kid he is valued; he is significant enough to interrupt what we are doing to meet his need. As we do this, the kid learns that Jesus loves him unconditionally. We may be the kid’s only link to Jesus.