God has recently been showing me deeper ways I can learn to love and encourage others. I want to be more patient, kind, encouraging, affectionate, and gentle—especially with my family. I have been asking the Lord for wisdom to understand why I am finding this so difficult. I think I have identified one important part of it. One problem is my agenda. When I have an agenda and people get in the way of it, I am frustrated. When I have an agenda, I simply do not see or have the energy to love people. And I am talking about a task oriented agenda. If my agenda were loving people, that would be produce a difference result altogether. For example, when the children do not do a job correctly, my agenda determines my response. If my agenda is the task itself, then I am frustrated and ungentle. But if my agenda is to relate to, love, build up, and train my children, then I will gently instruct and encourage them.
It seems that I am a fundamentally task oriented person. The physical and practical task, whatever it may be at the moment, must be secondary. People are always first. Love is always first. “Whatever you do, let it be done in love” (1 Cor 16:14).