Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Keeping Score

"So the first will be last, and the last will be first." Matt 20:16

"Di, can you bring the dishes into the kitchen please?  And walk through the living room to see if there are any cups or anything."

"But Mooo-oom, I did it LAST time!"

I prickle and then sigh, turn back to the dishwasher.  "Just do it, please!"

In this house full of kids, it can seem like I am dragged into their disagreements a million times a day.  Trying to mete out justice, insert myself into sibling warfare, figure out who did what last time and who's turn it is for which job or which reward, it can be exhausting.  Sometimes I just want to leave it all alone, leave it to them to figure out, and sometimes I do.  But mostly I know that this place is a training ground for the rest of their lives.  This is where they learn how to live - and how to love.

Sometimes I am guilty of this myself - especially in my marriage.   It happens when I feel justified in a certain action (or inaction) based on what I did and what someone else, in my mind, failed to do. 

Time and again I am reminded of a conversation I had with my then-four year old son.  He was throwing a fit because of some disappointment, and I heard myself telling him "Just because things do not go your way does not give you the right to behave badly!"  It is miraculous to me how parenting can show you the flaws in your own life, almost as if through a magnifying glass.

I assure you, there is no place for keeping score in relationships - not in parenting, not in marriage, not in friendship.  When it comes right down to it, none of us measure up.  We all fall short.  True love keeps no record of wrongs, doesn't tally up the perceived injustices of our daily interactions.  When one comes across an adult with is a "score keeper," it can leave a bad taste in your mouth.  It is immature - yet it is something so many struggle with.

1 Cor. 13: love keeps no record of wrongs...

I want to nip this in the bud now with my little people, and raise them to know better, to do better. 

True love simply serves.  Even if you did clear the table last time.

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  1. Love this! It reminds me of the song "The way I am" by Ingrid Michaelson. I was listening to it today and these verses stuck out:

    "Sew on patches to all you tear.
    Cause I love you more than I could ever promise.
    And you take me the way I am."

    I was so blown away by the meaning the Lord gave me through this secular song this morning. Sew on patches to all you tear is so deep and means tears in our hearts, egos, expectations. When in relationships, we get hurt, and we forgive and to me forgiving is the patch to all that has been torn. Being loved the way we are by a Father that knows all about us, good and bad, and still He loves...means we do that for everyone else. We have been forgiven much, haven't we? We must forgive much and love much. We show love by serving. Beautiful!!!

  2. great post, lydia! although i don't have a child (outside of the womb) quite yet, it's always good to be reminded of this for myself, especially in my friendships. thank you!

  3. Hi Lydia,

    We can learn a lot about ourselves by observing pint-sized humans, can't we?

    I appreciate your post and the way it makes me consider how I tally up wrongs, instead of loving the way that God teaches me to love.

    I featured this today over at The High Calling, under our Featured Posts. Thanks for your work, as you help folks in the network consider the high calling of our homes.

    -- Jennifer Dukes Lee
    Contributing Editor @

  4. Great post. Learning that life isn't "fair" and that it doesn't need to be is so important, and I think freeing.

  5. I am amazed at how my faults show up so clearly in my children. I know that God is using them to show me what mine and also to knock off the rough edges.

  6. Lydia,
    Oh, I love it when we learn things from our kids!

    Love the last line of your post. Yes, true love serves. Glad to find you through HCB!

  7. "When it comes right down to it, none of us measure up. We all fall short."

    This is great, you are so right. I try to remind myself of this too, in my marriage, (no kids yet) when I find myself annoyed by some silly thing. I can be annoying and selfish as much as anyone else.

    I love your blog! You're a great writer, I have been very inspired by your words and your family.


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