I was at my oldest son’s Boy Scout meeting last night speaking with another mom. She is an amazing Christ-like person, with a good husband and two great boys. But she was having a bad day. As she told me a little about what was going on, she said something that piqued my interest. She said, “I just keep telling myself to order my loves.”
She explained. St. Augustine was a 4th century philosopher and eventually given sainthood by the Catholic Church. In one of his books, he wrote about “rightly ordered love.” From my research, I have learned that he bases his ideas on the first great commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy heart.” The second commandment is like unto it, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
When we prioritize our loves in this manner: God first, and then our neighbors as ourselves, our loves are in the right order. Unhappiness can come if we put other loves before these.
As my friend explained this, she said that sometimes she has things in her #`1 spot that should be in her #10 spot. When she orders her loves as St. Augustine recommended, she is happier.
I’ll be honest. This was not new information for me. I’ve heard those two commandments since I was a little kid. But it was presented in this new way that got my mind spinning! Order my loves! What love am I placing in a higher priority than I should? What is not high enough? I see an extensive journaling session in my future.
What about you? Are your loves in order? Are you putting God first? Are you loving you neighbors? (Or your spouse, your kids, your mom, your in-laws, etc.?) Or are you putting your hobbies, your recreation, your TV series, or your other self-interests ahead of them? Now, I’m not saying give up those things. Ya’ll know I’m a big fan of self-care. But are they in the right order?
When you having a hard day, remind yourself to order your loves.
Stay tuned for next week, when my mind goes off on a tangent and another interesting awareness that came from this topic.