We had one of those nights last night that every parent has gone through. The kind of night that every parent dreads. The crying, the taking turns to get up, the hopeful silence to see if the child is sleeping, the crying again, the other one getting up, the cycle continues.
Eventually in preparation for Monday morning the little two year old was in our bed and the cause of the crying had mysteriously disappeared. I probably could have persevered a little more to keep her in her own bed, but our little baby who has potty trained so well in the past few weeks has become a little girl, and I cherish the baby cuddles in the middle of the night.
As we lay there trying to share a space not meant for three people, I had an image in my mind that I heard once during a talk on relationships. It spoke about a line that was drawn between two people, and how each person was responsible to be standing at that line in order for the relationship to function. It was a talk that brought a lot of freedom to many people, as it described how you were only responsible for standing at that line and that you were not responsible for the actions of other person. If you knew you were putting your absolutely everything into the relationship, then you could have a deep peace that even if the other person was not meeting you at the line, that your part of the relationship was right.
Last night as I was kicked repeatedly in my lower back when my daughter seemed to wiggle herself into forming a right angle with my body, I saw that line in relationships slightly differently. I realized that although you can in good conscience do everything required of you in a relationship to bring you that peace that you are keeping your side clean, there is also the option of crossing over the line.
The option of going the extra mile and reaching into the other person’s territory to help them get to that line too. The picture of loving someone so much that the line of responsibility gets blurred, because love is not selfish and is not about your to-do list, but rather about putting someone else’s needs before your own.
Eventually as I fell asleep with those little feet pressing on my lower back, I thanked the Lord for the midnight reminder, that love is not self-seeking.
1 Corinthians 13 vs 5
“Love is not self-seeking”