Great reminder today to really tune in with our children and to teach them about relationships and how to "love well." Have a great day ladies and a Worthy Wednesday!
“Lord, Help Me to Love My Children Well”
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:1-4 (NIV)
Recently, my poor, sweet kids were each trying to navigate life alone … ranging from an emotional teen outburst to tolerating painful behavior by classmates, and I didn’t see it.
Eventually, God let me know what was happening to them. It’s so like Him to bring truths about our children to light.
I discovered my kids’ lonely, inner struggles in different ways: through a journal we shared, a coincidental conversation with my son’s teacher, and a laundry request to remove chewing gum from a costume inflicted by a student in my daughter’s play.
According to several studies, loneliness is growing. How ironic that modern technology allows us to be more socially connected than ever while making us relationally disconnected.
Well, the enemy is sneaky. It’s so like him to take the phone, a tool of communication, and make it one of isolation.
Loneliness is an emotional response to isolation. It’s an anxious feeling about a lack of connection or communication with others. Loneliness and isolation are strategies the enemy uses because God designed us to love and to have relationships.
Jesus made this clear: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:36-39, NIV).
Love God and love your neighbor. Love is the only way to have a relationship, and relationships are the only way to overcome loneliness. My husband and children are my closest “neighbors,” and I want to love them well. I want to teach them to love well.
The secret to parenting well is to teach my kids to love well.
If I teach my kids to love well, they will never be alone. Especially in light of these reminders in God’s Word:
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1-4).
Can effective parenting be so simple it can be summed up in just three sentences? Yes!
I must teach them that if they keep His commands in their heart, and don’t let love and faithfulness ever leave them, then they will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
These are the things I crave for my children. But not if I am fixated on my laptop or too busy to even notice they are withdrawn or frustrated — which is sometimes easier said than done. And not if they are left to navigate life alone, something God never intended for a child.
Could they miss the promise because I was not tuned in?
I must look up when they walk through the door, listen when they chatter and explore when things don’t add up. I must help them navigate life, teaching them as they grow.
… then they will win favor with God and man.
Oh my, this sounds like someone else I know: Jesus.
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52, NIV).
Loving well, parenting well — we make it so complicated. It doesn’t need to be.
I think our children simply need us.
Sweet Lord, open my eyes to see my children with Your wisdom. Help me to love and teach them well so they will grow as Jesus did. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Proverbs 20:7, “The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.” (NLT)
Romans 13:8, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” (NIV)