Love is Patient


Love is… not punching my brother. – Benny, age 6

The first attribute found in God’s definition of love (1 Corinthians 13) is patience.  In today’s society we don’t do well with patience.  We have been trained for the immediate and today’s children are no different.  Patience is something that is taught by modeling this behavior.  You cannot tell a child to be patient with their sibling and then be in the car driving to the grocery store yelling at the driver in front of you because he is going too slowly.

As parents we must remember that there are always eyes watching to see how we will handle situations.  A child is more prone to do what we do rather than do what we say.  They are visual learners. We must be conscious how we are reacting to the things around us in word and action.  When they watch us our children are learning the “love acted out loud” virtue of patience.

What does it mean to be kind?

Love is Patient2011-02-04T18:00:25-04:00

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling….


Love to me means that you care about someone, you love being around them and you do stuff for them.~ Feury, age 10

“I Just Don’t Feel Like I Love Her Anymore,” that from a husband of eleven months. The reason why culture is failing at love is that we are learning about love from all the wrong places; from music, movies and books. We get swept up in the romance of the “love at first sight” and “happily ever after” stories.

Isn’t love something you do rather than something you feel?  The mother of an infant doesn’t feel like getting up for the three AM feeding but she is doing love. Children of elderly parents don’t feel like helping those older parents during their last years of life but they do it because they are expressing love. These are selfless choices that are made.

Because Love is something you do, it needs to be something a parent teaches a child to do. The resource for how to do this has to be the Creator of love, and He has written down what love actually looks like in 1 Corinthians 13.  Do these things and your loving. Teach these things and you’re preparing.

What are some creative ways to teach patience?

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling….2011-02-15T21:36:44-04:00

What is Love?


Love to me means that I have a open heart for others.  ~Dani, age 7

While Valentine’s Day in the classroom means candy and parties, for others it is a source of pressure and for some it is just downright depressing.  What would happen if families used the month surrounding this holiday to teach children what it means to show love to the people around them?  We are told in Matthew 22 that to love our neighbor is “equally as important” as “loving the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.” In fact the word love is used over 600 times in the Bible.

Sadly in today’s society we have no idea what it means.  To a child life revolves around them but we are raising a generation of adults who have not grown out of this.  To raise a marriageable and employable adult we have to cultivate the concept of love in our children.

What better a time to focus on this trait as a family then Valentine’s week?

How do we teach children real love? Please join us as we spend this week discussing the responsibility we have as parents to teach “love”.

What is Love?2011-02-04T18:01:09-04:00

Unconditional Love


One of the biggest things that a mom can communicate to her children is unconditional love.  This is why moms sometimes can take such an emotional beating from our kids as they grow up.   It’s such a back handed compliment. As our kids fight for their independence, often rudely, they know that mom will always be there for them.  Moms shouldn’t allow rude outbursts, but when they happen, deal with them as being unacceptable and then take heart… you have successfully communicated your unconditional love.  Unconditional love communicates our child’s worth and value.  This is a huge responsibility as it will build their self worth for the future.

Unconditional Love2012-02-14T20:42:05-04:00

Love never fails


Love to me means my family and God.  ~Hannah, age 7

As we close out our “love month” we get to look at the best quality of love.  True love never fails.  Our children need to be able to say with confidence that, “no matter what, my parents will love me.”  One of the ways we communicate this is how we discipline.  Through discipline we need to constantly communicate that we are disappointed in the choices made or behaviors displayed but not the child.  The phrase should not be “I’m so disappointed in you!”  It should be “I’m disappointed that you made that choice because now you have chosen to go to bed early and I was looking forward to spending time with you.”  Again we have to be very aware of what is coming out of our mouths.  We need to not discipline out of anger or frustration because when we do we can sometimes communicate disappointment with the person rather than the behavior.  Make the choice to resolve the relationship after discipline.  Sit and talk to the child; hug the child to make sure they know that we still love them.  Our relationship is not damaged because of the choices they made.  That is how we communicate that no matter what happens “I will always love you.”  We must extend to our children the same love our Heavenly Father extends to us!

Love never fails2010-02-20T22:46:58-04:00

Love perseveres


Love to me means family. ~ Joshua, age 7
Matthew, age 6

Just like choosing to love well, perseverance is a choice.  It is something as parents we know how to do because there are so many situations that call for perseverance.  For example, we choose to persevere through potty train because it is socially unacceptable to allow your healthy teenager to go to high school in diapers.

But what about circumstances that don’t have societal pressures behind them?  Do we choose to persevere through the temper tantrum and not give the cookie?  Do we choose to give consistent consequences when school books are forgotten or homework is not completed?  Do we choose to stick to our dating parameters when our middle school daughter wants to go to a movie alone with a boy? Do we choose to not allow something we know is wrong even if “every one else is allowed to do that?”

Perseverance is a choice, sometimes daily.  But as parents we must sometimes make the hard choices not only for the protection of our children but also to train and guide them. Remind yourself that when you do make these difficult choices, you are ultimately choosing to love your children.

Love perseveres2010-02-20T22:48:40-04:00

Love always hopes


Love to me means hope ~ Lucas, age 6

When our children are small it is easy to have big hopes and dreams for them.   Sometimes though, as they grow up, our dreams are dashed in teen years with their fight for independence.  Even if they are attempting to find who they are and possibly rebel against our system, we must never loose hope.  More importantly we must never communicate that we have lost hope in them.  Because often the big dreams we had in the beginning were our dreams and not God’s plans for their lives. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Proverbs 22:6 reads “train up a child in the way HE should go.”  Translated better it reads “the way he is bent.”  This means we need to be students of our children, learning who they were made to be. When we do this, not only do we not loose hope but we communicate hope.

How do I study my child?  The biggest way to learn who your children are is by listening to them.  Giving them your time.  With a teen it may be a slow and gradual process.  Make sure that you are making time to listen TO them rather than lecturing AT them.  That may mean you “date” your child or it may simply mean you go and sit on their floor and spend time with them. When a parent gives of their time, especially when teens are trying to buck their authority, it communicates love.  It communicates hope and belief that they are worth it!

Love always hopes2010-02-20T22:48:25-04:00

Love always trusts part 2


Love is when somebody loves people. ~Samuel, age 3

The second way we teach trustworthiness is by modeling.  As a parent, our actions are always under the microscope.  Children are watching to see what we do and how we handle situations.  One of the easy ways to communicate trustworthiness is to mean what we say.  For example, when I say “no” do I mean “no” or do I mean “no… until you whine, complain, and beg until I change my mind.” It actually creates a sense of security when a child knows they will not be able to manipulate me into changing my mind.

When I say “I will be there” can my child look out with confidence and see me, on time, sitting front and center.  Consistency communicates that I can be trusted.  When I am consistently unable to follow through and make excuses for my behavior, children learn quickly that I cannot completely be relied upon. Even though this lesson may be taught unconsciously, we need to be aware that it is still being taught.  In our busy lives and schedules it is easy to over look this and excuse it away.  But because of our responsibility to our children we have to constantly be aware of what we are teaching.

Love always trusts part 22010-02-20T22:48:12-04:00

Love always trusts


Love means to respect and take care of others. ~ Ferdinand, age 13

Teaching our children to be trustworthy is a valuable life lesson.  It allows them to be marriageable and employable which is one of our ultimate parenting goals to enable our children for success.  It also helps the teen years go more smoothly.  There are two ways to help children learn to be trustworthy.  The first is giving them small amounts of freedom in which to make choices.  Allowing your child to play in their room while you shower is ultimately an exercise of trust.  You are trusting them to not tear their room apart while you are out of sight for a few minutes.  Obviously, this takes parental wisdom about when your child is ready to take these small steps. It is our job to create a safe environment for them to exercise their choices.  Then it is our job to get out of the way and observe.  When they make the right choice we reward that choice; and when they make the wrong choice we give the appropriate consequence.  All of these day to day choices are ultimately creating a person who is trustworthy.

Tomorrow we will discuss the second way to teach trustworthiness.

Love always trusts2010-02-20T22:47:52-04:00

Love encourages


Love to me means to be nice. ~Riley, age 4

As we continue teaching through the real definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13, we come upon love does not boast or brag. In other words love is humble and focused on others.  This again seems to be best taught through how we allow siblings to act toward each other.  Do we teach them to applaud the victories of others and encourage through the struggles?

It is common for siblings to try to one up each other.  “Mommy I always eat my food” when their brother is struggling to finish.  This behavior is crying out for the approval and attention of the parent.  It is a balance of encouraging the positive traits but discouraging the tearing down of their sibling.

One way to refocus boasting or bragging, is making the child think of a positive character trait of their brother when something negative is said.  In other words, “you’re right, you did finish your food but we are trying to encourage your brother right now.  What is one thing you think that he is good at? That might help him to feel like he can do this.”  You create the atmosphere for a cheering section rather than competition and bragging.

Love encourages2010-02-12T13:24:53-04:00