I’d like to think my love for my kids is unconditional, and in a sense it is. I will love them no matter what they do. Unfortunately my loving them is conditional in that it depends on me.
Loving our kids unconditionally requires loving them when they are not lovely – when they’re disobedient, argumentative and throwing a tantrum out in public, when they yell at your face, “I hate you!” instead of “I respectfully disagree with your decision for these reasons…” How I respond in these difficult situations is conditional on me – how much sleep I’ve had, how full my love tank is, how calm/stressed I am about other things, etc. There have been times when these have gotten the better of me and the results were not my finest parenting moments.
How then, in our flawed state, can we show unconditional love to our kids? Show them the one who can love unconditionally – Jesus. He is love (1Jn 4:8) and so can never be emptied of it. So great is his love that “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:39). So apologise to them when needed and reinforce for them the forgiveness we have in Jesus. It is just as well Jesus loves the unlovely, otherwise He wouldn’t be able to love me (or you).
Unconditional love sounds wonderful, and it is wonderful when we see it for what it is – a gift from God in spite of our imperfection.
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5)
He can help us love our kids better by changing our hearts and helping us make wise decisions, but this side of heaven we will never be able to love unconditionally, thanks be to God for His mercy.
Do you find these posts helpful in parenting to the Glory of God?
If you do, then I’m sure others would too.
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