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Biblical Love and Parenting

Loving Mom and Daughter hugging
Show Biblical Love to Your Kids

Ephesians 5 says that we should walk in love, light, and wisdom. How can we apply this to parenting? The first verse in the chapter says that we are to be imitators of God as beloved children. Just as our children imitate us, we are to imitate God. As parents, we should be growing in our relationship with Jesus, and we should be demonstrating our walk in light, love and wisdom to our children. Today, let's chat about walking in love. Jesus said that love is the most important commandment.

Walk in Love:

What does it look like to walk in love? We should be loving to everyone around us including our children. When Paul says we are to walk in love, the example he gives is Jesus. Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for us. So, the type of love that Jesus showed was a sacrificial love that put others first. He was obedient to His Father, just as we should be obedient to our Father.

Love in action is described throughout the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says love is:

  1. Patient. As parents, we have so many opportunities to show patience. We can show patience as we potty-train our toddler, as we teach our teen to drive, and as we patiently teach them about God.

  2. Kind. What tone of voice do we use with our children? How can we show them kindness?

  3. Do not envy. We can show this in our own lives by rejoicing with others, rather than envying them. We can work with siblings to build each other up and support each other rather than being jealous.

  4. Do not boast. Are our words kind? Do we give credit to God for what we can do?

  5. It's not arrogant or rude. Our words matter. Careless words to kids and others can hurt. The Bible says that we will be held accountable for every word we speak and that our words have the power of life and death. James speaks of how our tongues are like a rudder that steers a large ship or a small fire that starts a wildfire. How can you change your words to ensure they are encouraging and life-giving to your children?

  6. Does not insist on its own way. When we ask our children to do something, are we asking kindly? Children do need to obey, but are we willing to listen to their input? I love hearing ideas that my children have to speed up cleaning the house! Parents do have the responsibility to be in charge, but we want to ensure that we have our child's best interest in mind. On the flip side, we do need to ensure that our children are not insisting on their own way.

  7. Is not irritable. This is one of my favorite parts of love. It changed my life when I realized love was not irritable. Irritability precedes anger and frustration. Realizing that irritability towards others is not loving and therefore a sin helped me so much. If there is not irritability, your house is much happier and much more loving.

  8. Is not resentful. As parents, we never want to be resentful of our children. Children have needs at all hours of the night and day. When we cannot nap even after a long night because our children need us, we cannot be resentful. When we are awakened in the middle of the night, we need to be as loving as we are in the middle of the day. When there are additional expenses from having children, there cannot be resentment. We always need to remember that our children are blessings from God and treat them that way. Having a newborn and a twenty-year-old at the same time showed me just how short an amount of time we have with our children at home. Make the most of each moment. My twenty-five-year-old just called me thanking me for the time that we spent teaching her Bible stories, and how to study the Bible, and pray. She said she would not be the same person if we had not done that. She was the one who would keep us up for hours chatting after everyone else was in bed. My husband and I talked about how important that sacrifice of our sleep was for her, and to hear. her thank us was so life-giving. Take that time with your children, and never be resentful. Soon enough they will be gone. While they are in your home is when you have the most opportunity to pour into them directly.

  9. Does not rejoice at wrongdoing. I think this one is the hardest for me when my children are little and so incredibly cute. I have to make sure that I don't giggle when they are doing something they should not do, but still look so cute. Even if I have to turn away because what they are doing is so ridiculous, and there is no way they can get away with it, I try to make sure that I correct rather than laugh at sin.

  10. Rejoices with the truth. I love it when my kids confess their sins. I love it when they speak the truth. When my children come to me and confess sin themselves, I can help them in their struggles. In our family, if you come up to us, your discipline is significantly reduced or even gone when there is true repentance. I love to sit with my kids every few weeks, hold their hands and ask them if there is anything they are struggling with that they want to confess. We have had so many good chats, and I do rejoice to see them speaking the truth. I also teach my kids from an early age who they are in Christ. I want to speak that truth over them.

  11. Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Family life is going to have ups and downs. There will be struggles, pain, and suffering with all of the joy, delight, and fun. Love is what keeps us steady throughout all of life's circumstances.

We are not to provoke our kids to anger. We are to teach them to know the Lord. Showing true, biblical love as an example to our children is so important! Pray daily that your family will be loving. Learn what biblical love in action looks like.

Love each other well.

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