What is love? Kids ask us to answer these life impacting, world changing questions with such ease. Questions like this can send a parent reeling. What is love? What does it mean to me? How do I pass on these values to my children? How can I make them know love in the best of ways?.
This is one question that you can answer with all confidence. Knowing that the answer you give your child will guide them to love and be loved in the best possible ways. We as parents can know this answer, because the question has already been answered for us.
I Corinthians 13:4 a
Charity ( the Old English word for love) suffereth long, and is kind.
Wow, what power in that simple statement.
Charity : love
suffereth : to feel pain or distress, to sustain loss or injury
long ; a great duration of time
We like to think of love as an always happy, continually joyous thing. Yet, when it comes down to it, true love is the love that stays even during the hard times.
Love also does the hard things that might not be easy for the one who is loving, but are best for the one who is loved.
“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, nor bends with the remover to remove.”
I Corinthians 13:4 b
…charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
vaunteth : to brag or be boastful
puffed up : to be filled with ones self
When you love someone you look for ways to encourage and lift them up. You don’t tear them down to make yourself look or feel better.
This way of thinking directly opposes many common philosophies we have of “loving yourself first.” But it is truth.
Children learn best through example, but loving your child when they are being spiteful or mean can be, at best, difficult. When you choose to love and be loving you are a great example of “charity suffering long.” Children are masters at getting under the skin, and the person they know the best is you. Hearing your child yell things like ” You are so mean”, ” I don’t love you” or worse can be heartbreaking.
It is good to know though that the end of this chapter says Charity never faileth. So keep it up Mom and Dad! Give your child the love that they need, especially when they are being difficult. Teach them, train them, and correct them, all of these things are love in action. You are choosing to do the hard things for the good of the one loved.
Don’t forget to throw in the loving actions, hug them, write them sweet notes, daily tell them that you love them. Above all, don’t despair. Have hope that your love will not come back empty. It is good to know that love NEVER fails.
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