Do your Children Love You?
by Joey and Carla Link
Do you ever wonder if your children love you? At what age do you think they understand what love is? You tell them you love them from the first day you hold them, and they know it by how you take care of them, protect them, hug them and kiss them.
Let me turn the tables just a bit and ask you, how do you demonstrate your love for God? God is our heavenly Father and He demonstrated his love for us by sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross while we were still sinners, cleansing us from our sins. (Romans 5:8) So, we love God because He first loved us and we know what love is because God has shown it to us.
In John 14:15, Jesus said something very interesting about love:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
I started wondering if I demonstrated my love for Jesus by obeying his Word and living how He said in the Bible as He wanted us to live. Then I contemplated if I had ever considered obedience from my children as an act of love.
Turn that around – if our children aren’t obeying us, does this mean they don’t love us? If our kids don’t love us because they are being disobedient, who are they really loving? They are loving themselves!
Each time we allow our children to disobey us and violate the command God gave through Paul in Colossians 3:20, “Children obey your parents in everything,” we are teaching them it’s okay to love themselves over us. What is this going to produce? It will produce proud, self-centered kids.
So what do children learn from this? That if they don’t obey their earthly parents, why should they listen to or obey their heavenly Father?
So please, let Jesus words from John 14:15 roll around in your mind this week and contemplate how often your children are obeying you. Why aren’t they obeying you all the time in everything you ask them to do? Do you expect them to? Where did they get the idea they can pick and choose when they want to obey? Do you come across that way when you give them an instruction? Yes, it is hard to be obedient when you don’t want to, but this mindset leads to us telling God, “I love you, but I just can’t do what you want me to do.”
In fact, John gave us even more encouragement in I John 2:5:
“If anyone obeys his word (God’s word), God’s love is truly made complete in him.”
What a great promise to work towards in raising our children!