Do your children know you love them? Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. If I say I love my son, but ignore him and mistreat him, do my words speak the truth, or do my actions tell the real story? It’s what I do that counts, not just what I say.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:13-14
Many outward signs mark the Christian life. Not the least of these signs is love for one another. And that love is often best manifested in humble service that seeks no reward or payback. As someone once said, with great power comes great responsibility. With freedom and grace comes an obligation not to use it for selfish gain, but to serve humbly with love.
3 Ways Your Children Know You Love Them
As a father, my love for my children manifests in multiple ways. First, I tell them often. My twins are 14 now and not a day goes by that I don’t tell them I love them, even if it embarrasses them. My parents were of a different generation, one that was marked by a certain stoicism that prevented them from being demonstrative or expressive with their love for their children. Let it never be said that my children are left to wonder if their father loves them. They hear it daily.
But there are other ways to manifest love. In addition to telling my kids I love them, I listen to them. When my kids speak to me, it’s never just rambling, incoherent thoughts. They have something to say. So no matter what I’m doing, I stop, look them in the eye, and listen intently to what they have to say. I don’t ridicule them, belittle them, or denigrate their expression. I listen and respond accordingly. Many parents have their heads in their phones or devices while their children are trying to talk to them. STOP! Listen to your child.
I also lead my children. They know that Dad’s in charge. It’s not a heavy-handed leadership, marked by unreasonable edicts and decrees or physical intimidation. But they know what Dad’s vision is in any given situation and they know what their job is. Whether it’s getting ready for school or devotion time where I lead them to Jesus, I fully accept my responsibility to lead my children.
Loving Your Wife As Well
Love for my wife is no different. She hears my expression of love for her daily. I listen to her with all of my attention as we recap our days, as she expresses her concerns, as she relays her fears. I lead her by accepting my responsibility as a husband, by rejecting passivity and complacency, and by setting a vision for what our family could and should represent.
For more reading materials on 3 Ways You Can Ensure Your Children Know You Love Them, see below:
- Now Airing: The Dad Show
- Dad, You Need To Be Active in your Children’s Lives
- Dads, Use Your Tools
- Why Dads Should Listen to their Children’s Opinions