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Continuing with this weeks topic..”Fruits Of The Spirit”

Those of you who know me personally know that I’m a person soft-spoken when it comes to consideration for others. My husband has told me so many times, “Just cut to the chase! You will walk 5 miles around something to keep from just saying what’s really on your heart!” And he’s right…the “diplomatic me” has such a hard time even speaking the truth in love. The reason I’m better at writing than speaking is that I have time to more carefully choose my words. It’s a gift and a hindrance all in one.

God has created as diverse a palate of personalities as He has variations in the colors of our skin, for reasons far above our understanding. Not all of us would make good trial lawyers or drill sergeants…thank heavens I am neither!

Still, when pondering the above Scripture today, I thought of families and the need for expressed love. Most of us have at least one parent or grandparent from whom words of love trickled rather than flowed. It’s just not easy for some people to say those “three little big words.” Grandma was very, very open in her feelings. She praised hard but when circumstances called for it, she could come down hard on you like a hammer…but she did both from a heart abounding in love! Grandpa was the strong, silent type who was better at action love than spoken love; but he loved strongly and we all felt it without question. When he did actually say he loved you, it really meant something special. My parents were both the same way, Mom being more open and Dad being more reserved. Another lesson in itself, and I think that certain ministers like Bishop T.D. Jakes have such a high calling in teaching men how to open up and be more expressively loving toward their spouses and children.

The most tragic young people (who often grow up to be adults with emotional issues) I know of are ones who honestly don’t know either way, through word or deed, that they’re loved. They may get open criticism on a daily or even hourly basis; but no underlying affection to let them know the rebuke is spoken for their good — and not just as a weapon to beat down their spirits. Still other kids wind up with every conceivable toy, gadget, or privilege to do whatever they wish, but wonder in their hearts whether it’s just a means to keep them “out of their parents’ hair.” They’re left without the security of knowing that love has built safe boundaries around them.

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Daily Devotion: Love, Hiding in Your Heart?  was originally published on