Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Heart of a Homemaker | Love Their Children

Two weeks ago we looked at 1 Corinthians 13 from the perspective of loving our husbands. This week we will look at it from the perspective of applying it to our children.

I'm climbing up on my soapbox now, so it might be a good idea to duck for a minute.

Can we all make a pact not to put children down to their parents as in, "I'll bet you can't wait for naptime....", "They know which buttons to push.....", "Mom, you know they are supposed to make you pull your hair out..." and so on.

Children are not born with this innate desire to sabotage their parents' lives. In fact, children did not even chose to be here in the first place.  

Children are born with a sin nature (just like their parents were), and it is our job as parents to teach them to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Children are what we as parents allow them to be. The Bible refers to children as a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3 NASB).

If God, who is the ultimate giver of good gifts considers children to be a gift, then shouldn't we as well?

Okay.... I'm done.....

Now, regardless of how the rest of the world views children, let us look at how we can love our children according to 1 Corinthians 13.

Love is.....

patient- when you are answering the tenth round of "whys" that started when they asked why the sky is blue.

kind- when you are dealing with an injured child, whether physically or emotionally, and looks for a way to help heal the wound with as little pain as possible. It hurts, and telling them it doesn't invalidates their feelings to whatever his injured their hearts or knees.

does not envy- someone else of what they have made their children appear to be like on Facebook or Twitter. Children, everyone's children, are children. Everyone has to work with their children on something, whether it be fears, attitudes, behaviors, or problems. Be thankful for the child you have been given!

does not boast- to your child about someone else's child and what they are able to do. That is a great way to destroy your child's self-esteem and cause resentment towards a child that has done nothing to deserve it.

not proud- of what you were like as child and compare your child to that. You were what your parents put into you. If you want your child to be more like that, then do what your parents did for you. (Oh, wait! Did you say you were going to parent differently than your parents did? Then don't complain.)

not rude- it is so easy to be rude to those closest to us- especially our children. Because they are small, some people consider them to be insignificant. They are not. Jesus said that if we wanted to enter into the kingdom of heaven then we needed to become as a child. That is pretty significant! I, sarcastically, love when parents treat their children rudely and then are appalled when their children repeat the behavior in public. Our children can either learn grace and tact from us or rudeness. Which will it be?

self seeking- do we parent the way we do because we love our children or because we want to look good in front of others? Using our children to promote ourselves, our parenting, and our greatness will leave them feeling used and not loved.

not easily angered- it goes back to patience. How long is your fuse, Mom? I am generally a patient person with a fairly long fuse. However, I know that my fuse is shorter on days that I am more tired. Sometimes, I can't do anything about the amount of sleep I get at night, but sometimes just reminding myself that my children are 5 and four-days-from-being 2, and, as awesome as I think they are, they are going to act their age. It does help.

keeps no record of wrong- reminding your child of a mistake they made last week, last month, a year ago, two years ago, or a decade ago does not benefit your child in any way. All you will do is remind them that they will never be good enough in your eyes, and one they blow it, their is no real forgiveness. Many times, that is when they just continue into a downward spiral. They have no hope of ever being forgiven. As parents, we need to visually show them what God's forgiveness looks like. He said that He has taken our sins and put them as far away from Him as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and has promised to remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12). If God, who is Holy and Righteous and Good has chosen to forgive us in this way, who are we, who needed a Savior, to remind our children of their short comings?

does not delight in evil- When you refuse to correct your child for improper behavior, you are not showing love to that child (Proverbs 13:24). Do not be one of those parents who use the familiar phrase, "Not my child!" Yes, your child is human and made a mistake. Correct him, love him, and move on.

rejoices in the truth- when your child comes to you with the truth of a situation, even if it is not what you wanted to hear, rejoice in the fact that they told they truth and had the confidence in you to speak the truth freely. They need to know that they can approach you with anything and everything. One day their safety could depend on it.

always protects- your child from those who speak harmfully towards them, bullies, and the internet. Moms, there are too many tragedies in the news with children taking their own lives because they could not handle the bullying. The heartbroken parents are always left saying, "If I had only known...." Be involved. Know your kid's passwords and user names. If you chose to allow them to have a social media account, be the first friend on their list and then monitor everything that goes through. You are protecting the child that you love.

always trusts- that your child will take what you have taught them from God's Word and will use it when making decisions when you are not around.

always hopes- that God has great things in store for them and then prays accordingly. Remember, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

always preservers- even when you look at the world around you and you fear what may lie ahead, never give up teaching your children about the Lord and His love for them. When it seems that you have taught the same lesson about obedience for the 100th straight day, don't give up. It may finally sink in on day 101.

love never fails- and your children will know that you love them without you having to say it...

....but you will say it because "I love you" coming from a mother is the most beautiful sound in the world.


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