If I were to interview hundreds of parents and ask them, "Do you love your children?", not one would say no. There would be no statistics to compare. The answers would be 100% yes. All parents love their children and most show their children love. However, we must aim to give them a secure and complete love.
Many children grow up insecure because the love they received from their parents was incomplete even though it was genuine. We want to send our children into the world knowing they were truly loved. Also, God has given us the keys to be the ones who transfer this secure love.
Why are so many children growing up into insecure adults? We must take a long look at ourselves and see if we possibly may contribute to this problem. Sometimes our love is incomplete because our children feel they must constantly compete for it. Are we choosing pastimes, careers, or even friends above them? Who or what are we spending most of our time doing?
Several months ago, my husband was transferred to a different area of his work place. Greater demands were put on his time causing him to be away from the family for 70 and sometimes 80 hours a week. Even when he was home, he had to answer calls and was expected to fill out reports on his computer. We value our family time, so after a few months, John went to his supervisor to see if he could work out a different plan. His supervisor ignored him and did nothing to help him. Finally, John went to his boss and told him he could no longer work that many hours because he needed to be home more with his family. He was accused of trying to dictate his work hours and was let go.
Because God values family and the time we invest in our children and spouses, He is providing for our family and we have much more time together now. God will honor your desires to have more time for your family. Sometimes we are forced to make decisions and even face losses for choosing what is right in God's eyes. We must transfer complete love to our children by choosing to let go of certain things.
Secondly, our love is sometimes incomplete because our children are made to feel like they have to earn it. They can discern if they receive our praise and approval if they are performing to make us look good to others or behaving in a way to make our jobs easier as parents. We must aim to show our children acceptance no matter how they choose to behave.
So what does complete love really look like? Dr. Tim Kimmel, author of Grace Based Parenting, defines love as "the commitment of my will to your needs and best interests, regardless of the cost." Doing the loving thing for our children is not always easy and does not necessarily come natural. Love is about making decisions based on the covenants we have with our loved ones. Love also sees our needs as second priority to those we are to love.Our children are our closest neighbors. Loving them in grace and truth is also about knowing what their God given needs are, not selfish ones, and meeting those needs.
Last of all we should remember that secure love is often inconvenient and sometimes painful. Loving our children costs so much. They cost our money,time and sleep. It may cost us our careers, it may cost us mother's our figures. It may cost you Dads a promotion. It may require that we do without.
Just the other day we took the younger children to Toys R Us to pick out a toy to buy with some Christmas money their grandparents had given them. As we were paying for the gifts, the cashier looked at me and said, 'Wow, they each get something. What do you get?" I pointed to the children with a smile and replied, "I get to enjoy them! That is what I get!"