{Parenting} Top 7 ways to love your kids.

By: Mandy Hill

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. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

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I am the blessed mama to three of the most beautiful children you will ever lay your eyes on. There are days however when their behaviours blur their beauty, just a little. Those same days, my role as their mother is tested and strengthened all at the same time.

Today was one of those days. My youngest was practising for his audition as a monkey for the circus, I am sure…. He climbed, he ‘re-organized’ multiple kitchen cupboards, he incessantly flushed the toilet and tested every ounce of patience I have. My older two, upon arriving home from school, joined in his fun. My patience and kindness were tested straight up to the moment they all surrendered to sleep.

It was in the moments after they fell asleep, when I was embracing the welcomed silence of my home, that The Lord gently, yet firmly spoke to my heart. Here is what he shared with me.

Love is patient.
I believe my ultimate role as my kids mom, is to love them and exemplify love in a biblical way. What better way to exemplify love like this, than to extend patience on days when I least feel like giving them? I am certain my beauties know which buttons to press in order to amp up testing my patience; I’m sure yours do too. Perhaps it’s in the moments we feel the most tested that we can exemplify the love of Christ most genuinely.

Love is kind.
If I’m being honest, admittedly today was a day when I wanted to throw kindness out the front door. I am thankful however, for strength that could only possibly come from The Lord, to conclude the day without regrets. When our kindness has reached it’s end, The Lord has an endless supply just waiting to fill us up. It’s ours to freely tap into.

Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Being a mom has not made me exempt from making mistakes. In fact, I will undoubtedly make many more in the days ahead. I’ve learned over time however, that there is something rich and rewarding about excluding pride from a list of characteristics on my mama résumé. When I have made a mistake (i.e. hurt their feelings), there is no harm is seeking their forgiveness. Likewise, as they mature and learn the importance of seeking forgiveness; I must be prepared to extend grace and forgiveness promptly in return.

It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
I need to consciously remember when disciplining my children to do so with the intention of leading them in the way of The Lord; not in the way of myself. When things go so much differently than I had hoped or imagined, anger can not be unleashed; rather patience and kindness must remain. Also, if I hope to instil the value of keeping no record of wrongs in my children, it’d be in my best interest to not keep any records myself.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
When my kids make wise choices, I need to rejoice with them. Sad choices need to be addressed and disciplined, but wise choices should always be given attention and praise.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
No matter how many ‘tough’ days I endure with my kids, I feel strongly impressed to always make sure they know they can trust me and that I believe in them. No matter how many mistakes they may make, I want them to know that their mama sees hope when she looks into their eyes; and that Jesus sees even better.

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Love never fails.
At the end of this tough day, I am so thankful for the truth that Jesus’ love for me never fails. As a mom, even on days when I mess up a hundred times, I need to make sure my kids know the same of my love for them. They need to know that no matter what, regardless of their choices, my love for them is steadfast and unconditional.

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for speaking to me in a gentle voice that I can not deny or ignore. Thank You for pointing me towards righteousness and truth. Thank You for loving me so much; please guide me in loving my children from the abundance in which you give. In Jesus name, amen.

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