In God’s grace and goodness, we are told that He “Gently leads those with young.” (Isaiah 40:11) He'll never leave us nor forsake us, either, (Deuteronomy 31:6) and we can look to Christ for ways to model His love to our kids.
How did Jesus show His love for us? He stopped, slowed down, and made time for hurting people. He had compassion for them. He showed respect to everyone, He listened, He encouraged. He took care of the physical needs of those whom He served; practically, he fed the hungry. Jesus prayed for us, pointed us back to the Father, and ultimately, gave His life for us.
Like Jesus, we can show love to our children, too. If you're struggling with how to live that out, here are some things you can do to model the love of Christ to your kids:
Give Them Jesus
When Jesus spoke to his disciples, he made it a habit to point them to the Father. We see this all through the gospels, but John 17 in particular is Jesus’ prayer for his followers, and it reads as one long beautiful reminder that they belong to God and that He has done so very much on their behalf.
When we are correcting or encouraging or simply living alongside our kids, the only thing we really have control over is our choice to remind them of Whose they are and what He’s done for them. Give your kids Jesus, and in that one simple act, you have loved them as Jesus loved us first.
Allow Them Room to Figure Things Out on Their Own
The opportunity for growth is a gift of love from us as parents. This means that we have to be the opposite of helicopter parents and develop deep ridges in our tongues from biting them.
With regards to making choices, if it isn’t unbiblical, we can bite our tongues and allow them to figure stuff out, even if they end up doing things differently than we would have.
If we give them the time to figure things out on their own, they will learn to hear the Holy Spirit, and that is an immeasurable model of the love of Christ.
Deposit More Than You Withdraw
If we aren’t depositing good things (time, a listening ear, kindness, joy, delight) into the hearts and minds of our kids, there is nothing to draw upon when we go to withdraw (correct, discipline).
Our "withdrawals" likely come from a deep concern for our kids, and that concern is born out of our love for them, but our love is exponentially communicated in the overwhelming deposits that then prove in the mind of a child that our withdrawals stem from that profound love, too.
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