Mothers and Corinthians

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A possible paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13 for loving mothers.

If I talk to my children about what is right and what is wrong, but have not love, I am like a ringing doorbell or pots banging in the kitchen. And though I know what stages they will go through, and understand their growing pains, and can answer all their questions about life, and believe myself to be a devoted mother, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give up the fulfilment of a career to make my children’s lives better and stay up all night sewing costumes or baking cookies at short notice, but grumble about lack of sleep, I have not love and accomplish nothing.

A loving mother is patient with her children’s immaturity and kind even when they are not; a loving mother is not jealous of their youth nor does she hold it over their heads whenever she has sacrificed for them. A loving mother does not push her children into doing things her way. She is not irritable, when chickenpox has kept her confined with three whining children for two weeks, and does not resent the child who brought the bug home in the first place.

A loving mother is not relieved when her disagreeable child finally disobeys her directly and she can punish him, but rather rejoices with him when he is being co-operative. A loving mother bears much of the responsibility for her children; she believes in them; she hopes in each one’s individual ability to stand out as a light in a dark world; she endures every backache and heartache of her accomplishment.

A loving mother never really dies. As for home-baked bread, it will be consumed and forgotten; as for spotless floors, they will soon gather dust and heel marks. And as for children, well, right now toys, friends and food are all-important to them. But when they grow up it will have been how their mothers loved them that will determine how they love others.

In that way mothers live on.

So care, training, and a loving mother reside in a home, these three, but the greatest of these is a loving mother.

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