June 7, 2005
--1 Corinthians 13:8
In the university of life, the first principle you should remember when raising your children is to love them—unconditionally. Sadly, we are living in a generation where there is so little love expressed in the home. I would even go as far to say that in the church family and in Christian homes, there is not enough love at times.
Love is to be demonstrated and expressed. It is to first be expressed by unconditional acceptance. God loves us unconditionally. He certainly doesn’t love us based on our performance or appearance. He simply loves us by His grace. Your child should know that he or she can come to you under any circumstances and find unconditional love without you compromising your values. What if your son or daughter was in trouble? Do you have the kind of unconditional love in your home they could find in their brokenness?
Love also expresses itself in affection—verbally and visibly. It is physical and emotional. Your home should be filled with lots of hugs and kisses. And one of the best ways to do that is by giving your child time. Make sure you are at the ballgame. Show up to the recital. Honor them with your presence in the important times of life.
Surveys show that we tend to quit saying “I love you” to our children the older they get. Teenagers need to hear “I love you” just as much as the babies. In fact, it is evident that many teenage girls find love outside their home, even in immoral ways, because their daddies never say “I love you” or hug them. They are simply looking for their dad’s love.
Finally, love is expressed in affirmation. So often we constantly find fault in our children. “Don’t do this, don’t do that, stop it, and quit that!” When was the last time you went looking for something good in your child and affirmed them of it?
Do your children know that you love them unconditionally regardless of their faults or actions? Do you consistently shower your children with affection? Have you affirmed the goodness in your child lately? If you express love by acceptance, it will produce significance in your child’s life. If you express your love by affection, it will produce security. And if you give your child love through affirmation, it will produce a healthy self-esteem.
SHOW YOUR CHILDREN THE LOVE OF GOD THROUGH
UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE, AFFECTION, AND AFFIRMATION.