We’ve just gone through a couple of grueling weeks with one of our precious children. It’s been a battle of attempting to pick our child up from running headlong onto a road of destruction, to gently, but firmly, redirecting the course of their choices to the Narrow Way.
Only God can do that.
But we are the stewards of our children, and when we witness them making bad choice after bad choice, it is ultimately the most loving thing we can do to steer them back.
It has hurt. Both us, as parents, and our child.
Words have been spoken that would not ordinarily have dared to exit our mouths. Emotions have run high. There have been many, many tears – on both sides.
Now, we see a glimpse of our child’s sweetness returning. We have caught a couple of the twinkles we missed so much in their eyes. We are sensing a change of heart, a slow transformation in attitude. We have a renewed sense of belief that, as parents, we really do often know what is best for our young ones. The road ahead is still long, and most probably won’t be straightforward, but we’re getting there one unpredictable day at a time.
And here’s the crux of the matter of what we’ve learned;The one message your child needs from you is...love! Click To Tweet
Yes, your children need discipline.
Of course they need boundaries.
They certainly need direction.
They will depend on you to provide their physical necessities.
But, my friend, hear this… your child, far and above all, needs your love. Everything that comes from a place of love, is more palatable, easier to accept, and ultimately good.
I must be honest. During this trial we’ve been going through, we have been so much more aware of loving our child.
We’ve been speaking with love in our voices and in our words.
We’ve been thinking through each and every tiny step we take, ensuring that what we do is loving towards them.
We’ve been pouring out physical care and affection by the ton.
And it’s broken down walls, torn down pillars of anger, and softened a hardened heart.
Why don’t we do this on a normal day?
Why wait for a crisis to communicate how very greatly we love our children?
In the morning, they need love.
When they open their eyes, and we’re there to greet them with a warm smile, a hug, inquiring about how they slept, what they dreamt, how they feel about the day – – love!
During the day, they need love.
Clearly showing how much you appreciate them, are happy to see them, and are looking forward to spending the rest of the day being close to them – – love!
In the evening, they need love.
Treating them with a dinner you know they enjoy, sitting close to them cuddled on the couch, listening to them share their day’s experience, and kissing them good night – – love!
This may sound cheesy, or idealistic. I know (believe me) that no day is the same as the one before or after. Even if our routine remains unchanging, attitudes, trials, and emotions can temporarily alter the course of our communication, or ruin the our best intentions.
But if your child knows, experiences, and witnesses that deep love that you have for them; if they’re convinced that you would never purposely hurt them, or intentionally trick them, because you love them with an undying, uncompromising, unequivocal love, your relationship will come through into their adult years in tact. They will trust you, consult you, and treasure you for a lifetime.
It’s never, ever too late to begin lavishing that love onto these blessed children that God gave you. I’ve experienced that first hand these past couple of weeks. If you’ve made mistakes, as my husband and I have, or have neglected showing them your affection in the busyness of life, today is the right day to send that message through loud and clear.
And everyday from here on out.
I know you’ll find it easier than you expect – because it’s just a natural outworking of the love you already have for your child in your heart.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7
How do you show love to your children. In what ways could you show them greater love?