In the Spring of 2013, I spent months compiling verse recommendations from friends and family for Sing the Bible. One of the very last suggestions I received came in the actual mail… from my mother. I opened the envelope, and found inside, penned onto a small purple leaf of paper, John 13:34-35.
It was the same handwriting that I’ve seen inside a birthday card every year I can remember. It was the handwriting from childhood permission slips and love notes slipped inside brown bag lunches. It was Santa’s handwriting. And now it said,
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35
The verse was so perfect for a song that it practically wrote itself. But how should we talk with our kids about this one? For busy parents looking for Scripture nuggets to feed our kids, this verse is so straightforward it is easy to skim. “Sure, sure. Jesus loves me, so I should love others. Got it. What else you got?”
But if we only look for a moment more… “As I have loved you…” How many of us walk through our lives ready to wash the feet of our friends? How many of us truly think of the good of others before our own comfort? This verse is a bucket of cold water to my face every time I read it or sing it because of how often I think of myself first.
Unless you are ready to receive buckets of grace for your utter lack of obedience to this verse, don’t bring this one up to your kids. They will totally bust you. You’ll either have to pretend like you think this way all the time, or you’ll have to come clean. I recommend coming clean, by the way. It’s a great way to enter the conversation about living with the Holy Spirit, and looking to Jesus and depending on him every day. Clearly, we can’t do this “love one another” stuff on our own.
More about that conversation in our next post. Check back in a day or so… and thanks for stopping by. You can click on the CD cover below to check out our Slugs & Bugs store.
This post is the tenth in a series on our new CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs. All the lyrics to Sing the Bible are word-for-word Scripture. I hope this series helps parents talk with their kids about each passage on the CD.