When my youngest daughter was four years old, she twirled into the kitchen where I was putting away the lunch dishes and announced, “I’m going to be a mommy. The daddy will go to his job. Then I will do all the mommy things and it will be fun!”
I had to stifle a laugh. Elbow-deep in sink water, I was amused by her assumption that the mom life was all fun and no work, unlike the daddy with the “real” job. At the time she made her career-of-leisure-and-fun pronouncement, I was expecting our seventh child and homeschooling her and her siblings. Oh yeah. All fun and games.
For my four-year-old, parenting looked like fun. And some of the time, it is. But what strikes me as the really difficult part of parenting is not the dishes or the laundry, or even keeping the schedules and getting the kids educated, however that may happen. The hard part is the relationships. The really difficult day-to-day thing is loving each other well.
For me, the hardest part of parenting is modeling the love of Christ to my kids. You, too? You must be a human parent, just like me. And in God’s grace and goodness, we are told that He “Gently leads those with young.” (Isa. 40:11) He'll never leave us nor forsake us, either, (Deut. 31:6) and we can look to Christ for ways to model His love to our kids.
How did Jesus show His love for us? He stopped, slowed down, and made time for hurting people. He had compassion for them. He showed respect to everyone, regardless of class, race, or sex. He listened. He encouraged. He took care of the physical needs of those whom He served; practically, he fed the hungry. Jesus prayed for us, pointed us back to the Father, and ultimately, gave His life for us.
Like Jesus, we can show love to our children, too. If you're struggling with how to live that out, here are 9 things you can do to model the love of Christ to your kids:
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