The Bible gives us a beautiful description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I think there is so much we parents can take from this verse and apply to the way we love our children. Love isn’t easily angered. Love does not dishonor others. Love keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres!
I believe many of today’s parenting practices are self-seeking. We are concerned, above all, with getting our needs met, and we are taught to train children to ensure that happens.
We “discipline” them to make them mind with little to no regard as to what the child is communicating through the behavior he or she is exhibiting. They have a need in that moment of wrongful behavior – a need to be taught, a need to be understood, a need to connect. Yet, we have a need to make them obey, and we put our needs first. Many conventional discipline methods have one goal – to make things easier for the parent.
We don’t want our children to be much of an inconvenience in our lives.
Courageous love asks us to take the needs of our children to heart.
This is not to say that our needs as parents do not matter or that that they come last, but quite frankly that we are not selfish parents.
So, I ask you this today (and I’m pondering this in my own heart as well), are you self-seeking or are you in tune with the needs of your children? When you discipline your children, are you working to get everyone’s needs met or are you only working to satisfy your own?
Today’s challenge: Look for what your child’s behavior is saying about his/her internal state and seek meet your child’s needs. You can write the above questions in your journal and reflect on your feelings about your answers.
Join me tomorrow for “Loving Courageously When They Don’t Listen.”
Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.
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