The Way of Love
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant” (1 Corinthians 13:4, ESV)
There is a metaphor used a lot about being in God’s woodshed. The woodshed from decades ago was a place of privacy located near the house but became symbolic as place of learning for children. The woodshed was where a father would take his unruly and rebellious children to teach them the ways of God. Proverbs tells us that to spare the rod is to spoil the child. The woodshed is only a tool of God when the child encounters a true man of God in the woodshed. A man seeking to live righteously under the ways of God. True men of God are almost extinct in this day. The woodshed is an evil place when a child encounters an abuser who takes out his anger on the child. Under the right application of love what happens in the woodshed is not just discipline with punishment but teaching with words and love. To be in God’s woodshed is a place that one would not choose but coming out though one is better than when one went in.
I say this because yesterday was a day in the woodshed with God for me and funny thing, I was not really aware of it until today. You see if we are to learn the ways of love, we must unlearn the ways of self. Everything where we are focused on our being, our life, our pleasure, our good, our happiness, ourselves. If our sentences are filled with “I’s” and our conversations are about me then I am not ready to learn or accept the way of love. The way of love must begin with humility and to surrender our desire to be ourselves. We must become children focused on God and not ourselves.
For love to be patient and kind it cannot start with arrogant boasting of self. We cannot be looking at others and wanting what they have. Self-interest destroys patience because we want what we want when we want. Self-interest destroys kindness because kindness deprives us of time, attention, and resources that are needed to focus on ourselves. Self-interest makes us like spoiled children having temper tantrums because we want what others have. How much or your energy is spent on thoughts of yourself, your will, your plans, your needs, or your desires. This is a good indication that maybe a woodshed is your future. Why? Because God wants to show you the way of love. Get over yourself and learn the true ways of love.