Should we rank our values? Typically our noble virtues don’t clash.
But when they do? Let love be the tiebreaker.
First Intentional Act
On the first night after our little grandson was born, Jeff and I had dog duty at his house. We’d promised Jenna and Trey that we’d feed their dogs while they were at the hospital.
We walk into little Henry’s nursery. Everything looks beautiful. Even though he came three weeks early, Jenna is mostly prepared.
But one thing is out of order.
I see it on the carpet. It isn’t supposed to be there.
It isn’t a big hairy one or a scary long-legged one. But nonetheless, a spider in a baby’s room is anathema.
I ask Jeff to kill it. He does.
It is our first act of intentional care for our grandson.
Which Value Is Greatest?
Sometimes the things we do for others are small in the grand scheme of things. Actually, most are small. Cook a meal. Send a text. Feed the dogs.
But small things are important things.
Every act of love is important. Size? No matter.
When Henry grows up, he’ll be faced with choosing his own values:
- How should I treat my neighbors?
- How can I help my friends?
- How do I care for my family (especially Granna! lol)?
Loving others will always be the best answer, whatever the question. Loving other people is our divine calling. Loving other people is how we love God. Love is walking on holy ground.
Of the many values we hope our grandbaby Henry will learn (excellence, freedom, loyalty, fairness, humility, community, faith, hope, love, …) the greatest of these will be love.
And in those rare occasions when one virtue comes at the expense of another virtue (should you choose sacrifice over freedom? community over independence?), and he has to choose, I hope he’ll choose love as the tiebreaker. Love as the most important. Every time. Over everything. Even among faith and hope, choose love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Love. It is indeed the greatest of these.
Even when it’s only killing a tiny spider in a baby’s room before he ever makes it home.
When have you sacrificed freedom for love, pleasure for love, success for love, somewhere along the way? Please share in the comments.
How does it feel to be alone? Will you discover an unexpected visitor behind the next door?
- On the Blog—July 2021
- Is the Word of God a What or a Who?