Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Part 9 – Love Thinks No Evil, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“….Love thinks no evil.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

What does it mean to think evil? In this world we temporarily dwell in we are surrounded by evil. It’s on the television, in the newspapers and magazines, in the streets—everywhere. It’s so easy for us to get desensitized to what is evil because we see a world full of people accepting and even glorying in evil. So when God says that love doesn’t think evil, what does He mean and how can it be accomplished?

Let’s get back to the language. The Greek word for “think” is “logizomai“, and it can be translated to: “reckon, count, compute, calculate, to take into account, to number among, to consider, weigh, meditate on, to determine, purpose, to decide.” So this word is more about how we weigh something up in our minds. What do I determine about this person or issue? What is their substance? How have I judged or calculated their motives to be? It is actually less about what the subject actually is and more about how we’ve labeled it.

Now the word for “evil” is the Greek word “kakos” and means “of a bad nature, of a mode of thinking, feeling and acting base, wrong, wicked, troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, and baneful.”

What’s fascinating about taking this phrase apart is that by understanding the text we get a better idea about the point God is making here. You see it’s not about whether or not a person is evil or has a bad nature. It’s not about whether or not they truly are being troublesome or wicked or if they secretly despise you. It’s not really about them at all. When God said “love thinks no evil”, it’s about me. It’s about how I view people and how I love them. It’s about not being cynical and looking for the worst in people. It’s about not labeling someone as evil, wicked, troublesome or destructive, especially when I don’t know that it’s true.

I think about a juror in a court room. They are presented the facts and are told to make a judgement based on those facts determining whether or not the defendant is guilty. They may be looking at a pile of evidence but it all comes down to how concrete they determine that evidence to be. God is reminding us here that we aren’t the judge and we aren’t in a courtroom. We are supposed to be loving people, not determining how wicked they are or labeling them as evil. Now, there may be evil in their lives. They may be guilty of all of the bad things you suspect. They may be out to get you or they may really be giving you dirty looks behind your back. That’s not the point. The point is how are you going to think on that person. You can choose to think no evil by taking those thoughts captive. You can choose to love people, whether or not they love you. If we really want to be effective in leading others to Christ, we need to show them this kind of love.

I think about a time when a young man came to our old church for a while. The church was something of a legalistic church, and the people weren’t very graceful to say the least. Regardless, I remember this young man entered the church and he was wearing torn up, un-matching clothes, dog chains and a bright green mohawk. He had several tattoos and piercings. The young man attended the church for a while off and on. I’ll never forget when one of the ladies from the church (in her sunday best looking prim and proper) walked up the young man and said she had to confess to him that she had secretly been judging him by the way he looked ever since he started attending.

For one thing, I couldn’t believe this woman’s discernment that the best way to deal with HER inward sin was to confess it to the person who didn’t even know how much she had been despising him. She unburdened herself at his expense when she could have simply confessed and repented to the Lord and spared him the embarrassment. Still, this woman’s heart was to think evil. She had judged him. She had labeled him. She had determined he was wicked and evil. And even when she did confess of this sin, her unloving attitude had driven the young man away from God and not to Him. How sad. Let us not be this kind of person. Let us love people and think no evil.

God says we can take every thought captive that goes against His Word. He also says in Philippians 4 that we are to think on what is true and of good report. We aren’t to go passing judgements or labeling or determining the heart of another person. We aren’t called to do that. We are called to love. Love.

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Part 8 – Love is not Easily Provoked, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“Love is not easily provoked.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

I have found that there are times in my life when exhibiting the love of God—His way—means going against my very nature. See I’m a sinner. I’m selfish my nature. In my selfishness, I tend to be impatient and ungraceful. I tend to be easily provoked to anger when things do not go my way or when people (even the little ones) do not do as I ask, exactly how I asked and at the very moment I asked.

Excellent recent example. Last night I was holding my three year-old daughter and she was munching on some candy. It was “Nerds” candy, which are like tiny colorful pebbles. She kept shaking the box and I told her that she would likely spill them if she continued to shake the box. So she stopped. Wait…no….that’s not how it went! Of course my strong-willed little girl didn’t stop. She continued to shake the box and suddenly sent the candy flying all over me! If I was a cartoon character you would have seen my eyes turn red and smoke come out of my ears. I sharply rebuked her for not listening and making a mess.

After some kind words of encouragement from my own mother (who had seen the whole thing), I realized I had over-reacted. I had been easily provoked to anger. My daughter had not understood the consequences of what she was doing. I had not given her a direct order to stop shaking the box, but rather suggested it was a bad idea. She didn’t listen. Instead she continued to learn how her bad judgement had caused the candy to be sucked up the vacuum instead of her mouth! Love is not easily provoked.

How often do we do this very thing to God. We go against the Spirit’s conviction in our hearts to do something we know isn’t good for us. Sometimes God has said no. Sometimes He’s just said it isn’t a good idea. Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t. The good news is, when we don’t listen and we follow our own desires or way of thinking rather than God’s, and we stumble and fall, God is not quick to anger. He is not easily provoked. When we mess up and sin and come running to Him for forgiveness, He doesn’t shout out us or give us the cold shoulder. He is not easily provoked. His love is longsuffering and patient.

I long to be a mother and wife who is not easily provoked. I pray that God will chip away that quick temper that is part of my nature. I hope one day to be the kind of woman that people look at and wonder, “does she ever get angry?” hehe It won’t be soon but maybe someday with the help of the Holy Spirit!

God’s love is not easily provoked. Are you easily provoked to anger or wrath? Do you have patience and grace for people? Are you slow to anger and quick to forgive? We all need to pray for God to perfect His love in us so that we can pour that love out on our family, our friends, our church family and the lost. May His love be ever in our hearts and on our tongues!

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Part 6 – Love is not Rude, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“Love does not behave rudely…” 1 Corinthians 13:5

The Greek word for “behaving rudely” can also be translated to “behave itself unbecomingly” and isn’t it interesting that a person who puts on an air of rudeness often loses beauty in our estimation? I can see a beautiful woman walking across the room and think, “wow she is a stunning woman.” Then when I go to say hello she snubs me and looks at me like I just stepped off of an alien spacecraft. Suddenly this beauty has lost her shine and appeal. To think I might have looked up to her for her outward appearance, but now I wouldn’t even want to be in her presence.

That’s what rude behavior does to us ladies. It strips us of our beauty, shine and warmth and makes us into nasty creatures. That should be the last thing we want. I know what I want most is for my husband and daughter to look at me as if I am the most wonderful, special and loving person in the world. I don’t want them to see me as rude and obnoxious. I don’t want my Christian sisters and friends to think of me a as a rude person they have to put up with, but rather a woman who exhibits the love of Christ. We should desire to be beautiful, but not as the world sees. We should seek to exhibit the kind of beauty that God’s finds spectacular—a woman who fears the Lord and loves her family.

As a homekeeper, it is so very easy to slip into rude behavior behind closed doors. Sure, we can clean up nicely when we are out with our family at church or in town. We smile. We bridle our tongues and hold back the urge to make rude remarks. We are constrained by the desire to “look good” and that keeps us from rude behavior when eyes are upon us. The question is, what happens when the spectators are gone? Are we as kind, gently and compassionate to our own family?

We keepers of the home often get somewhat run-down by hectic schedules, long chore lists and the ever-present need to be on top of everything. Sometimes with this exhaustion comes a sort of laziness with how we treat our husband and kids at home. We are more comfortable to unwind and say whatever we like. We don’t feel the need to impress them so we struggle with nagging, unedifying speech and impatience. We need to remember that behaving in a way that is unbecoming is just as bad when its towards our family members in private. When I flippantly shout at my husband to get his own dinner and then start chowing down before he has time to join me, that’s rude. When I ignore my daughter’s questions (even when I’m not actively engaged in other activities or conversations) that’s rude. When I nag and whine and complain, that is very unbecoming.

Lord, help us to be women who are beautiful by Your standard and not women who behave rudely. Love is not rude. Love is compassionate, caring, edifying, humble and kind. We are learning so much about what love is and what it isn’t. I find it so very moving how it all can apply directly and in a special way for homekeepers.

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Part 2 Love is Kind, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“…love is kind.” 1 Corinthian 13:4

Love is kind. The Greek word for “kind” is one that is not at all used often in the NT of the Bible. In fact, this verse in 1 Corinthians is the only time this word is used. It can be translated to “to show one’s self mild, to be kind, to use kindness.” I found it interesting that in God’s Word, which is filled to the brim and overflowing with verses about loving one another, showing grace and mercy, and carrying one another burdens, that this word for being kind is only used once.

In Ephesians 4:32 we see a different word for “kind” used. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” This word for “kind” is the same English word but in Greek means “fit for use, useful, virtuous, good, mild, pleasant and manageable.” Interestingly this word seems to be more about how a person behaves or how he or she is useful rather than their demeanor. In the OT we see the English word “kind” used a lot, but almost always it refers to God’s kindness and mercy. We do have one great example in Proverbs 31:26 of course.

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

While they are not technically connected words, I think this example is the closest thing we see to the one in 1 Corinthians 13:4. This kindness that God speaks of isn’t necessarily about what we do for people, but rather our very heart towards them. As a keeper of the home, we do an awful lot for the ones we love. We cook, clean, sew, teach (the kids of course), encourage, plan, shop, budget…the list goes on and on. We do these things because we love God and we love our family. Sometimes I know I can get a bit worn out from the labor and the hard work. My spirit gets a bit deflated and I may start to lose that sweet demeanor that blesses my family.

I believe this is exactly where this “kindness” comes in. Love is kind. At the end of a long day, after cleaning the house and folding the laundry and giving baths and correcting homework and when I’m worn out and tired and exhausted and simply frazzled—am I kind? Is my love kind? When the running around stops and I’m just me with my family, am I kind? That’s where I feel the Lord encouraging me tonight. Homekeepers, we are busy ladies. There’s no doubt about it. We have a lot on our metaphorical plates and it seems we always have more items on our chore list than we have time for. When that quiet finally comes, even at our most exhausted moments, do we show our loved ones kindness?

After my daughter throws a temper tantrum and is punished, she will often come to me for a hug. While she is hurting, and hopefully regretting her actions, she still knows down deep that I love her so very much. Will I turn her away when she needs my affections, even when she’s been rude and sinful in her actions? No. I choose to show her kindness and mercy. She gets her punishment, but she will never reach the end of my kindness, nor my love. When my husband needs me to show him kindness, Lord may I be the one to do that with open arms and an encouraging smile. That’s God’s kind of love.

Love is kind. It’s a unique kindness that is part of our very nature when we have the love of God flowing through us. While we may not always feel like being kind, and we may even diminish that kindness in ourselves by being too bogged down by the cares of the world, may we submit our hearts to the Lord and show a sweet, warm kindness that heals and builds up our family and friends. God bless!

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