At night when my son Kristo is asleep, I usually stare at him for a while and hug him and tell him I love him over and over. Sometimes he replies, often times he’s really far away in la la land, but just the same, I’d say over and over “I love you, Kristo….I love you so much baby.”
The other night, as I hugged him and told him I love him, I was suddenly reminded of the definition of love in 1 corinthians 13:4-8 in the Bible…
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.
As I stared at Kristo and started going thru each love definition, I was reminded that as a parent….if I truly mean what I say that I love my boy with everything I’ve got, it would be logical to assume that because of that love, I will be….rather…I am patient (patience, patience, patience, love is patient — it’s helpful if we say it over and over! *wink*), that I am kind, that I won’t envy or boast, its always worth remembering that love isn’t proud. I don’t know if you’d agree with me, but as parents we make mistakes too and our kids notice it. Kristo often calls me out for not saying “please” to him when I ask him to do something. Believe it or not, but I apologize. Whether we’re talking to a Kid or not, saying “please” does apply, right? So I am thankful that he calls me out, coz I remember to say “please” more now. The moment our kids see that we are humble enough to admit when we make mistakes and that we try our best to do what’s right the next time, then they’d pick that up! Imagine what that’s gonna turn him into as he grows up!
Being rude is a no no. I read in Childwise that if our kid is watching TV or doing something and we know that they’re gonna have to stop what they’re doing soon, coz maybe it’s time to leave or time to take a bath, we should be considerate enough to tell them what our plans are. Rushing into the room and switching off the TV coz we’re ready to leave is rude. What would you feel if someone did that to you, right? So telling them in advance (no matter how busy we are) that soon they’re gonna have to quit what they’re doing is an act of love.
Speaking of being busy parents, it may help to do a heart check if we’re self seeking. If we think we are, we’d better hit that stop button before it’s too late. It’s also extremely helpful to remember that love isn’t easily angered….love isn’t easily angered….love isn’t easily angered….this one (plus the patience factor) are extremely challenging for parents (specially if they spill a cup of water over your laptop!).
“Love does not keep a record of wrongs” is one of my favorites. Hearing a parent blame his or her child for something they did months or years ago is really discouraging for the child….Would you want someone to remind you of all your mistakes over and over? Our Heavenly Father doesn’t even do that…why should we, right?
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth — so the moment we see signs that our kid lies (yes, kids know how to lie contrary to popular belief) we must encourage them to tell us the truth no matter what….and when they do, our response is extremely important — so it is always best to pray for wisdom and understanding. Telling them that we’d rather hear a confession or bad news or find out that they broke our favorite picture frame, rather than watch them tell us a lie is highly recommended.
As parents, it is so natural for us to protect our kiddiewinkles, and that trusting them (which includes giving them responsibilities and giving them space to do something for themselves) is something we should practice as parents.
I’m sure it would mean the world to our kids if they see us hopeful for them, telling them that we are sure that God’s got an amazing plan specifically for them. I think being their number one fan is part of our “job description” as parents! And…as we hope, we persevere for them too.
When we’ve done all that and somewhere down the road they still want to take a different route, a route that would break our hearts….just trust that love never fails (1 corinthians 13:8).
Trust me, it’s what made me go back to my mom after all these years. I had no doubt that my mom loves me, no matter what I’ve done. Her love for me never failed. She kept no record of wrong when I moved back in with her. So even if I was trying to run away from her for quite a while, making that u-turn to run back to her wasn’t so stuff after all. Remember, love never fails. 🙂