Celebrating life on a mountain walk; loving by investing time, providing beauty, and having fun!
"Mom, if there is one place in the world where I fit, it is in our family--wherever we are, whatever we are doing. It's not about the place, it is about belonging to each other, "getting" each other, accepting each other, and celebrating life together. That is what I most miss about being at home."
~an unnamed child in our home :)
Every child needs and longs for a place to belong--
a sanctuary that gives abundant life and love and protects from all the evils that lurk outside the walls of that home.
Love should be the very air that our children breathe, the atmosphere, the foundation from which all other character is trained, from which all instruction comes.
So often, we want to just have life be defined by formulas to keep, rules to follow, neat patterns by which to live.
I even think many parents are suspicious about the idea of loving their children too freely. We hear the admonitions ...
"Well, you don't want to spoil them and flatter them too much!"
Jesus loved His disciples so well that they were willing to give their lives for His cause.
I am not speaking about false flattery. I am speaking of generous, committed, serving, sacrificial love--which was the basis of God's love for us.
Shouldn't it be the basis for our love for our children?
If we really studied, pondered, cherished, and applied the ways of Jesus' love as it is shown in scripture, wouldn't the way we parent--especially the way we mother-- look different?
Why is it we apply scripture differently to our children than to anyone else?
If we were made for love, and if love is the foundational need in the deep places of our hearts, then knowing that our children have this need, should shape how we seek to influence them.
Jesus Himself said, "They will know you by your love for one another."
Not only the world will know us as believers by our love for one another, our children will also measure and assess in their hearts the reality of God, by how much we display His love in our home.
How does this apply to the way we parent our children?
I have written out many verses from scripture on loving today. If these verses go deep into our hearts, penetrate our very being; if we ponder Jesus and understand Him, then we will understand that deep, abiding love is the culture around which our homes should be built. It is through establishing a "love culture" in our homes that our children will be taught what God is really like.
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
~I Corinthians 13: 4-8
"Love is a perfect bond of unity."
"Love covers a multitude of sins."
~I Peter 4:8
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
"If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you."
"If I have done this to you," (girding Himself with a towel and washing the feet of His disciples before He also died for them on the cross) "so you should also do this to one another."
How do we model servant leadership to our children? How do we love that much?
It is what reached the disciples' hearts, so that they gave their lives to His cause. Is this the secret to our influence over our own children's hearts as well?
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
" 'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Perhaps we are to love our children as much as we love ourselves; to lay down our lives for them. Jesus surely meant that it was the basis for relating to all people-- not just others, but our own family!
“For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Are we willing to give up as much for our children as God gave up for us?
" ... but God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
His love covered us when we were still failing, stumbling, wallowing in our selfishness. God, as our Father, saved us while we were still in our sin. What does this imply about us being parents to our own sinful children? That we show love while they are yet sinners.
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Is there any attitude or action that can separate your child from you, from your love, or is your love generous and consistent, forgiving, long-suffering?
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
This is the hardest--the giving up of ourselves as He did for us.
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are."
~1 John 3:1
Love One Another Bible Verses
Romans 13:8 "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law."
Galatians 5:13 "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."
Ephesians 4:2 " ... with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love ..."
1 Peter 1:22 "Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart ..."
1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God."
And so, in he next couple of days, before we proceed with the series on "Training Character," ponder this issue of love--love must be the culture in which we train our children or all of our training will be lost on them, and we will be as a