[Editor’s note: The author explains her family’s Lenten commitment to take the Love Dare here . Regular updates will be posted all through Lent. Click here to catch up on previous posts. Due to CE staff scheduling, we will not be able to keep up with these posts daily, but we will make sure they are all posted, even though it means they run past Lent. ]
Fill an emotional need for a family member, even if it means you sacrifice your own need.
“He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16).
When my husband and I first discussed the true nature and gravity of this dared, he groaned, “This part will take the rest of our lives.” How true. When you consider the number of people in our family and the varying needs at any given time, this is a huge task.
Perhaps our youngest daughter has been shouting more lately because she has a need we are not meeting? Is our middle son difficult right now because of changes in his adolescent body, or are we missing an unmet need? How do we figure it all out?
We decided that we needed to observe family members more closely, talk with them, and understand what their current struggles are. Singer/Songwriter, Marie Bellet, has a line in a song about her husband that goes, “He’d like to find the news and just get lost, but in one heroic moment, he says come sit with me. He gathers them to him as he turns off the TV.” I think this demonstrates the ability to gage your families’ needs and put your own needs aside for them.
There is an old saying that when someone acts unlovable, that is when they need love the most. Uncovering the reasons for someone’s stressful behavior and filling those needs will be a constant challenge for our family, but one worth undertaking.
Lord, so many times I feel like I have needs that are not being met. Help all of us to live the Prayer of St. Francis and focus more on loving others and filling their needs than on our own needs.