The Full Extent of Love
Preparing for a Sunday School lesson based on John 13 caused me to pause…and think. John 13 describes the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. One reason He washed their feet was to “show them the full extent of His love.” As several of my friends like to say, “That raises a question.” What would I do to show the full extent of my love for my family? I do love my family…no doubt. I would do anything for them. I believe I would die for them if need be…but would I wash their feet?
· I would work long hours to make sure they live a comfortable life…but would I clean up their dirty dishes or change a dirty diaper?
· I would encourage them to use their talents and improve their abilities…but would I offer a simple thank you when they open a door for me?
· I would sacrifice time and energy to watch them perform as part of a musical group or sports team…but would I sacrifice the same time and energy to patiently go over a tedious 6-month schedule of activities ahead of time? Or sacrifice the last piece of cheesecake by giving it to another family member?
· I would shovel the driveway and salt the steps so my family can safely go about their day…but would I think to ask them about their day and then take all the time necessary to listen to their answer?
· I would do anything to promote their eternal joy and emotional strength…but would I willingly suffer the pain I feel when following through on some necessary discipline?
· I would gladly sacrifice my own pleasures to give my family every pleasure…but would I pick up all the little toys, socks, and gadgets with the same pleasure?
· I would teach them my favorite activities and introduce them to my favorite shows…but would I just as willingly let them teach me about their favorite music, show, or activity?
· I would willingly and even joyfully mow the lawn and grow fresh vegetables so we can enjoy our yard in summer…but would I joyfully take out the garbage?
· I would sacrifice a day of work and rest to enjoy a day at Kennywood with my family…but would I clean the kitty litter without complaining?
· I would give my life to protect my family…but would I “sacrifice” the favorite chair in the living room or the “shotgun” seat in the car?
It’s easy to show our love by doing those things we enjoy or those things that make us look good. Even though those things show our love, it’s the daily, menial acts of service, honor, and grace that show the full extent of our love. So, the question remains…I’m sure you would give your life for your family, but would you wash their feet?