"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
I am writing this today, Father's Day. We took Mark out for some Mexican after listening to a very great message at church. The message was so great, I thought I would share it from my own perspective.
God's Blue Print for Parenting...
This verse is a grand example to us about parenting and about being a Father. I am not a father, but I happen to be married to the father of my children. I also happen to have an amazing father who lives in Wisconsin. Both of whom are precious to me.
Most importantly, I recognize God as my father. As our Father, he loves us unconditionally.
God loves us in such a way that we do not have to earn it or deserve it. It says, "For God so loved..." We also ought to love our children unconditionally. The love a parent has for a child is different than the kind of love we have for a spouse.
Remember when you met your spouse? How you did sweet things to get them to notice you and in a way, you earned their love and desire for you. When you behold your new born baby, there is nothing that baby did to earn your affection. It is immediate, it is powerful, and pure. That love is unconditional. It is a love that can not be replaced.
"In that while we were yet sinners..." God loved us long before we loved him. We love our children long before they know how to love us back. I know I loved my children even before they were born!
There was a Quaker farmer during the Civil War Era. He had a son. It was his conviction that he should be non resistant, which means, you do not fight in war. His son, despite his pleading against war, joined up with fighting in the war.
God loves us sacrificially. "For God so loved the world, that HE GAVE..." He gave something to show his love. Things that we give sacrificially is time or money. Most parents give in ways that provide monetarily to their children. Things like food, clothing, and shelter—all of which are needed. Kids crave time above all.
I remember when I was younger and my dad ran several businesses. I remember all those long days, the many phone calls, and all his appointments he would make with his clients. What sticks out in my memory most of all is that I craved time with him so much. He was the best dad ever. I loved learning from him, spending time with him, and talking to him. I remember wishing I was a client and that I could make an appointment with my dad.
Time is precious and at the end of days, most people never think about what they did to earn a living or what kind of car they drove, they crave time with their loved ones.
Love with Purpose:
In God's Blue Print for love " ...that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." " He had a purpose for his love. It was to invest into us something that is everlasting. When we parent we do well if we give our children responsibility and prepare them for a future.
We must love enough nurture and admonish. God give the gift to all that believeth in him. It is simple, and as parents, we also have expectations. For instance, "you can play with your friends IF you have your chores or schoolwork done." Simple. It is good as a parent to give your children goals and responsibilities.
We have to look ahead for their future because oftentimes, kids will not plan ahead. God plans ahead for us. He gives us the prospect of something that is eternal if we only believe. Our children need also a prospect. They have a future. What will they do? How will they function in society? How will they someday make a living?
We prepare them by teaching them how to build...
- We need to help them develop good, healthy relationships by modeling a good healthy relationship with our spouse. If they see a nagging, complaining, forlorn, disappointed parent, they will struggle to find happiness in their future marriage.
- We help prepare them by surrounding them with good company. Make sure they have other kids to relate to that are raised with good morals and values. One bad apple can rot the whole bushel. Influences are key. Be a good influence and surround them with other good influences.
- Teach them respect. How do you teach a child how to respect? By respecting your spouse, your elders, your friends, and most of all your children, themselves. Every person thrives in an environment where they feel respected.
- Teach them to be a good friend. Do not go hang out with a group of friends, putting on a big smile and then get in the car and bad mouth one of them behind their back. That scornful attitude will rub off on your precious children. They will learn how to be two faced.
- Help them identify their gifts and talents. They will go far in life with you as their cheerleader.
- Give them opportunities to use their gifts or talents. Get them involved in their interests to build success.
- Give them the tools they may need in order to succeed in life. If they are talented musically, make sure they have access to the instrument of their choice, for example. If they are artistic, make sure they have a set of paints and a canvas. Get them involved with other kids that enjoy the same interests as they do.
- Teach them to pray, by praying for their needs and for the needs of others in front of them. Make it your duty to show you care enough to pray for them. Whether it be a skinned knee or praying for their future mate. They learn to pray by your example.
- Teach them to minister to others by example. If you occasionally drop everything to assist someone in need, they will learn to serve and be more selfless.
- Teach them to earnestly seek after the fruits of the spirit by modeling them in front of your children.
- Give them something to hope for. Show them your desire to follow the example of Christ. Do not just give them a list of rules, but rather show them a heart that truly believes and wants to draw close to God. Nothing destroys faith and joy more than a list of rules that are not coupled with love, acceptance, peace, patience, and humility.
- When parents are humble enough to admit when they were wrong, it teaches children that there is hope for them. Never be afraid to be real and honest with them. They are people too.
God prepares a place for us, it is eternal. I love that He has given us such a picture of this wrapped up in one verse—a Blue Print for parenting. He is the ultimate example for us to follow. I think it is a good time to honor our husbands and fathers for all their hard work in providing, loving, and serving their families.
Go and give thanks for your fathers everyday. When they know we appreciate them, they feel even more honored to serve, protect, and love their families. I know I am thankful for my dad! He is one of my best friends. I love shooting ideas around with him and getting his great advice. He is an inspiration to me.
I am also thankful to my husband for being the best father I could have asked for for our children. He is always serving sacrificially, loving unconditionally, and giving so much more than we deserve. It was really special how he prepared for us this home we live in. He was here giving of his time and resources so that we could enjoy such a nice home.
Most of all, I am so thankful I have a Father in Heaven who loves me so much. I am thankful He is preparing a place for me one day. It is a good feeling to know I am his!