Last night, he told me that when he grows up, he wants to marry me. “I’m going to ask God for a ring to give you. It will be a ring of you and me together and it will play this song when you open it: I love you….” he sang sweetly in his 5 year old voice. My heart swelled! For me, it was confirmation that I’m doing something right. As parents, we don’t often get pats on the back that we are raising our kids well. It’s a day in and day out hard work, worthy work, but usually thankless work. The gift of my son’s words will keep me going a long while because the knowledge that he wants to stay with me forever is a sign that he knows he is loved, protected, and secure in my discipline and love for him and his brothers.
How about you?
Do most days seem to be plagued with what you see as failures more than progress in parenting?
We really are hard on ourselves and fall into the no-good habit of comparing ourselves to other families. Here’s a secret: you’re not perfect, and I’m not perfect. Our kids are not perfect. Only God is perfect. So cut yourself, and them, a big slice of grace. In the long list of qualities we are trying to demonstrate to our kids, they see and feel our love for them most of all.
If you are in a parenting quandary over some particular behavior or issue with your children and you aren’t sure where to turn, make today about loving them in all their imperfections, their difficulties, and their wonderfulness! Take a break and show them a hundred different ways that your love for them is boundless, unconditional, and full of grace. Allow the thought of God’s deep love for you to be what motivates you, and demonstrate that to your kids. Tomorrow may be training day again, but sometimes, remembering what it is to simply love and care for these gifts we have been given is all we need to restart our engines and refresh our spirits.
Though I may “fail” in some areas as a mother, communicating my love for my kids is one area that I can’t imagine falling short. Will you join me today in extending unconditional love to your children? It will be a blessing to your kids, and to you as well!
I Corinthians 13:3-7, The Message:
" If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end."
YOUR TURN! How can you show your kids that you keep no record of their wrongs? How do your kids FEEL your love for them?