By Jennifer Hyrcha
Have you ever had one of those incredible moments with someone you love that absolutely melted your heart? Well I had one earlier today when my middle son came running up the stairs absolutely bursting with excitement as he shouted out to me "Mommy, mommy, I've got really good news!"
"Wow", I answered, "what is it Clay", his enthusiasm rubbing off on me. He smiled gently as he looked up into my eyes and simply said "I love you"! "I Love You"....the three most precious words you could ever have the honour of hearing from the mouth of your child, because the meaning behind them can powerfully affect your very soul.
The smile spread across my face and my heart filled with such a peace and warmth as I realized (for about the 20 millionth time) just how well God had Blessed me by gifting me with these incredibly beautiful children of His to raise. I felt the deep truth behind these words: "It is not a slight thing when they who are so fresh from God Love us".
We, as parents, care for our children from the very moment they come into this world (even before that - from the moment of conception as mothers care well for their own body so as to give their unborn the best chance possible at a good life).
We love them with every part of our heart and soul and it is not only our natural behaviour to put our own needs behind those of our kids, but our honour.
We nurture them in so many ways: (1) Physically: we feed them, doctor them when they are ill, clothe them, bathe them, ensure they have a safe warm bed for us to tuck them into at night; (2) Emotionally: we hold them close when they are hurt, sad, lonely or scared. When they awake from a bad dream and need comforting we are the ones they run to; or, when their little hearts have been hurt because of an unkind word spoken by their peers, we hurt right along with them and do everything in our power to ease their pain. We spend hours upon hours teaching our children right from wrong and how to treat others. Emotional nurturing also comes in the form of teaching our kids how to stop and appreciate the beauty in people, places and things (family, friends, sunrises, sun-sets, mountains, lakes, wildlife, their pets to mention but a few ) and the deep importance of counting these things as the Blessings that they are; and also to know how fortunate they are just to be alive and healthy in a free country!; (3) Mentally: we nurture our children by ensuring the stimulation of their brain through the right schooling and the many things we teach them from day to day (like how to tie their shoes, tell time, zip their jacket, play cards, brush their teeth, ride a bike or hop on one foot....the list is very long).
Parents have such a very important job. We are teachers, doctors, cooks, cleaners, chauffeurs, toy fixers, friends, bum wipers, nose blowers, back scratchers, apple peelers, party organizers and social planners, book readers, game players, laundry doers, fort builders, Santa Clause, The Tooth Ferry, problem solvers, confidants, and role models; but most of all we are truly Blessed! There isn't a better job in the entire world!
We care for our children in all these ways and strive to meet their needs because we Love them from a deep and noble place; and, it is because of that intense love that we owe it to our kids to not only care for them in the ways I've mentioned, but also to make an investment in their soul for eternity - we need to care for their spiritual well being.
Teaching our kids to know who God is and how to walk with Him on a day to day basis is not only crucial to their earthly development and to their eternity; but it is also our real responsibility. Taking this job seriously will benefit our children immeasurably while they walk this planet, as they learn that Jesus is their best friend and can give them great inner peace as they trust Him with all of their struggles (big and small) and share their successes and innermost feelings with Him every day of their lives. As well, through Jesus they will learn true love for, and acceptance of themselves the same way God loves and accepts them. The eternal benefit is easily understood from Scripture (John 3: verse 16): "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life"; and I firmly stand on it's promise.
It's not like I could ever forget, but I am reminded of how well God loves me every time I look into the beautiful faces of my children; and giving my kids the gift of Jesus is the best gift I could ever hope to give them.
I am very aware of my duty to care for my little one's souls by raising them to know our Creator as I was told to do by God Himself in The Bible and the following Scriptures make this requirement very clear:
(Proverbs 22: verse 6): "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not stray from it";
(Mark 10: verses 13-16): (Jesus Blesses Little Children) "People were bringing little children to Him in order that He might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, 'Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it'. And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and Blessed them".
(Ephesians 6: verses 1-4): "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother - this is the first commandment with a promise: so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth". And fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord".
It is clear by reading these verses what God would have us do in regard to raising the children He has entrusted to our care. They show us that He has given us the important responsibility of nurturing our children spiritually by raising them in all of the glory of the Christian Faith.
A home where Jesus is the centre is a wonderful experience each and every day for both parents and children; and it is my Prayer that if you are not already giving your child the gift of Jesus, because perhaps you do not know His awesomeness in your own life, that you would seek Him with an open heart and discover Him for yourself and then share Him with the kids that God has entrusted to your care. Remember that parents are God's precious children as well and He loves each and every one of us. When you call out to Him and truly want to find Him, He makes it easy to do so:
(Matthew 7: verses 7-8): Jesus tells us: "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."
I'd like to end by sharing this writing with you - you may have read it before - it's one I really like: How To Really Love a Child
Be there. Say yes as often as possible. Let them bang on pots and pans. If they're unlovable, love them. Realize how important it is to be a child. Go to a movie theatre in your pajamas. Read books out loud with joy. Play together. Remember how really small they are. Giggle a lot. Surprise them. Say no when necessary. Teach feelings. Let God heal your own inner child. Learn about parenting. Hug trees together. Make loving safe. Bake a cake and eat it with no hands. Go find elephants and kiss them. Plan to build a rocket ship. Make lots of forts with blankets. Reveal your own dreams. Search out the positive. Keep the gleam in your eye. Mail letters to God. Encourage silly. Plant licorice in your garden. Open up. Stop yelling. Express your Love - A Lot! Speak kindly. Paint their tennis shoes. HANDLE WITH CARING.
Children Are a Miraculous Gift From God!!!!
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