If you pour some oil into a clear measuring cup with water you will find that they don't mix; the oil remains on top. I realize this observation hardly qualifies me as scientist of the year! But there is something to be learned from this familiar occurrence. Biblical love and discouragement are like oil and water. Mix love and discouragement together in a clear glass and you find love (oil) on top and discouragement (water) on the bottom. You can see the line that separates them. Discouragement, though real, does not change our ability or capacity to love.
We tend to believe that discouragement comes from unfortunate circumstances, as in children who are slow to obey. Actually, discouragement comes most often from the way you think about circumstances and not primarily from the situation itself. That is why Paul urges you, parent, to focus your thoughts on things that are excellent and praiseworthy, in this case that would be love.
[Read the rest of the article at Shepherd Press.]