“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Before you can train anyone to do anything, or teach anyone to learn anything, you must put him in a frame of mind where they are teachable and trainable. You have heard it said, “Attitude is everything.” Well, the same is true of training children. We must seek to be the kind of trainer and teacher that our children want to learn from. The first step to making that happen is love.
Think about the favorite teacher you ever had in school. What made that person your favorite? Perhaps he/she was encouraging, kind, funny, or helpful. Whatever specific characteristics make that teacher your favorite, I am sure at the core you felt valued and loved. That teacher made sure you knew that you mattered. The teachers that taught you the best loved you the most.
Every parent is going to have regrets. None of us are perfect. But there is one message we can communicate to our children that will hold them throughout their lives. That message is: “I love you no matter what.” From the time they are born, children need to hear that their parents’ love is unconditional.
This love must be both said and shown. Children, from their earliest years through adulthood, need to hear, “I love you,” from their parents…not just on special occasions, but each and every ordinary day…whether they were obedient or not, got good grades or not, tried their best or not…they need to know they are loved.
After you tell children you love them, you must show them. How else will they learn what “love” is except from you? Touch and time are the two best ways to communicate love. Gentle physical affection is a deposit in the heart of your child. Let them know that they have the security blanket of your love around them everywhere they go.
There is a saying, “People will not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This statement is especially true of parents. We must train our children with personal affection.
Dear Lord, I want to raise my children in a way that honors you and also shows them how much I love them. Help me to be intentional about showing personal affection to my children so that they never question my love for them. In Jesus' name, amen.