Thursday Thoughts for Writers~When I Forget to Love

On Thursdays this year, I'll share thoughts, tips and inspiration for writers.  I'm certainly not an expert, but am simply seeking personal encouragement in this art and want to share with anyone who's also trying to find their way as a writer.  These short posts will come from books, articles, the Bible, my own thoughts, and other people.  Check back each week or subscribe for new posts.  Please introduce yourself in the comments--I'd love to meet you and hear about your thoughts on writing.

Happy writing!

How do you manage your compulsion to write--being obedient to the call without making it your idol?

I just spent the last hour this morning ignoring my kids and doing "just one more thing" on the computer while my husband got them out of their beds, changed two dirty diapers and prepared breakfast.  An hour later, I finally glanced up to acknowledge that I had checked out and wasn't being fair to my husband.  This wasn't the first time in recent weeks that something like this has happened.

Lately, as I've thought about what it means to be both a writer and a follower of Jesus, these words have been coming to mind:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
 And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."
1 Corinthians 13:1-3

When I do not write out of love, my words are hollow, empty and meaningless.  

In order to write from a place of love, I must be living a life of love.  I've heard from many writers that the best writing comes out of a life well-lived.  According to the God-man who walked on earth, that sort of life comes only when I am loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength; and secondly, loving my neighbor as myself (Mat. 22:37-39).  In high school youth group, we were taught to prioritize our life with "J.O.Y.":  Jesus first, others second, yourself last.  But lately as I've been exploring what it means to be a writer, I've started to flip my priorities, putting myself first, others second and Jesus dead-last.  

The biblical definition of love is confusing to the rest of the world because we must first admit we are lost, hungry, thirsty, dirty, needy, poor, destitute, and dead before we can know True Love.  And it is out of our gratefulness for that Love that loved us anyway that we are freed to love others and create the art that God has put into our hearts to create.  

Am I letting myself soak in the well of that Love each day, allowing it to seep into every crack and permeate my soul?  Do I write out of a burning heart, like those who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus? I wonder if some days would be better spent sitting and waiting for the Spirit to move me instead of writing a post jabbering on like the clanging cymbal of 1 Corinthians 13?

And how can I hope to write well (i.e. from a life of love) when I am blatantly ignoring my husband or children to put my impulse to write before their needs?  Fortunately my husband hasn't resented me (too much) yet, but I am still wrestling with wisdom to wiggle writing into the fringes of life rather than allow it to take center stage during this season when I have little ones to love first.

God wants our words to create a symphony and not be a lone clanging cymbal.  He wants us to be everything He created us to be and gain all the gifts of the Spirit that He intended for us to live by.  But His love must be central.  It must be the standard to which every aspect of my life is calibrated.  And when I am loving well, I will be writing well.

What are some ways you have been able to love well/live well AND write well without ignoring your family in the process?     

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Last Post~ White People Are Boring

Next Post~ When We Fear {for Velvet Ashes}

Last Week's Thoughts for Writers~  The Compulsion to Write 
Find All Previous Thursday Thoughts for Writers here

Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart and While I'm Waiting  and 3D Lessons for Life 

The Compulsion to Write~How do you manage your compulsion to write--being obedient to the call without making it your idol?

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