18 Jun Parents, Love Your Children
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127:3-5
Our children are some of our greatest blessings from God. As we show love to our children, we reflect the heart of our Father in heaven:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 16:9-12)
The apostle John described God’s fatherly love for us this way:
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are…. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:1, 19-22)
Our heavenly Father loves us deeply, patiently, and generously, and his grace-filled love gives us confidence as we approach him in prayer. We should imitate God’s heart as we love others, especially our children:
Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1)
Parents, I encourage you to teach your children that you love them because God and Jesus loved you first. This will help your children understand that God’s love is the greatest love they will ever experience!
God’s love for us is perfect, but our love for one another is not perfect. We all make mistakes and sin against one another. One vital way we can show our children love is by apologizing to them when we have been unkind or harsh. Our children need to see our humility. This will enable them not only to forgive us but also to trust and respect us. They will see God’s grace in action through our humility, apology, and willingness to change.
Loving our children also means leading them to know the love of God and Jesus! We need to teach them the story of God sending his Son to earth to give his life for us on the cross. As your children become mature, they can see their need to repent, be baptized into Christ, and be forgiven. Many children are mature enough to make the decision to become Christians when they reach their early teen years.
One last encouragement to you: As your children mature, move away, and build their own families, I pray you stay close to them. Our adult children and our grandchildren are a wonderful, ongoing joy to me and my wife Geri. They are truly a blessing from God and heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3-5). I pray you experience the same blessing.