Love bears all things…

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
It happens every year. Every year, I feel more confident in my own abilities as a teacher. I’ve walked this road, I’ve taught this class, I’ve taught these students. I know what makes them tick. I know how much they need to be challenged. I know how firm or gentle I need to be with them. I know, I know, I know.
And then a day like Friday comes.
Friday, when Student A forgets his homework, which he wrote on paper, instead of typing and submitting online, after DAILY reminders.
Friday, when Student B finally has enough and blows up at his table, walks away from me when I try to get him to calm down, and then bursts into tears.
Friday, when I blow up at Student C for tattling.
Friday, when I was overly sensitive and blew up at Student A for saying something that I took as disrespectful, and he meant as a joke.
Friday, when I failed as a teacher.
Friday, when I realized, again, how big a task it is that I have been given. It is no small thing to teach Middle Schoolers, and my job is so much bigger than teaching them academics.  My job is equal parts instructor, counselor, and sometimes, mother.

I feel like Peter in the movie version of Prince Caspian.  We can talk about the shortcomings of the movie later, but there were a few moments that were brilliant.

Peter thinks he has everything sorted. He’s going to save the day. He doesn’t need any help.

And then his younger brother has to save him from temptation.

Peter does not have it sorted.

Love my students, pray for my students, teach my students about the Bible. Bible time is the worst time of the day! It’s right after lunch when they have been left to their own devices for 30 minutes. Emotions run high, they go crazy, and I have to pull them down to earth again.

And yet it is the time when it is most critical for me to be patient and loving. *sigh*

Love is patient, love is kind — when kids are disrespectful, and when they can’t let go of their petty dramas

It does not envy — other teacher’s schedules and breaks

It does not boast — because, really, what do I have to boast about?

It is not proud — because even (especially) teachers make mistakes

It is not rude — to the student who touches my hot buttons

It is not self-seeking — it seeks the good of others

It is not easily angered — again, hot buttons

It keeps no record of wrongs — every day is a new day

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth — it doesn’t get caught up in the drama, but it looks for things that are true and takes joy in that.

It always protects — students

It always trusts — in God’s wisdom

It always hopes — in the best possible outcome

It always perseveres — when early retirement sounds really, really, good.

I just finished praying through this scripture, something I tend to do when I am at the end of my rope, and what I should do more often. Give me this kind of love. Help me to show this kind of love. I love this chapter of the Bible, but when I honestly try to apply it I realize how hard this is.

And then I realize that this is the kind of love God shows us every day. He is the embodiment of this kind of love. Our human love for each other pales in comparison to the love He shows us every day.  And yet, He calls us higher. I know I don’t make it easy for Him to love me with this kind of love. And yet He does.  I see evidence of it every day in the way my kids offer me grace when I mess up. I see it in the way my husband loves me and enjoys my company after I’ve just taken all my frustration out on him. He knows how hard it is, and because of that He gives us all the support we need to get there. He is the great teacher.

Okay, God. I will try again.

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