I once had someone tell me, “in parenting, even if you get the rest of it all wrong, if your kids know what it is to be loved by you and by God, that’s all that really matters”
Soon after, I found myself in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8…or what is more well-known as the “love” chapter and I began to see what she meant. I have re-written the verses on love for me to be reminded of what this passage says to me about parenting…
If my kids are well-behaved and well-mannered, complete with “yes ma’am’s and yes sir’s”, but do not know that they are loved, my parenting is nothing.
If they can take responsibility for their actions, share the gospel of Jesus with everyone they meet and quote scripture from memory, but don’t know that it was His unconditional love that nailed Jesus to the cross, my parenting has meant nothing.
If they can get good grades in school, excel in extra curricular activities, be placed at the top of their class and be well-liked and well-respected by their peers, but they don’t know that they can rest in God’s constant and loving presence, my parenting has totally missed the mark.
If I can teach them how to clean up after themselves, the importance of order and responsibility and even understand consequences that come with poor choices, but they don’t know of the grace and love that saves us all from every mistake we will ever make, my parenting is worthless.
If my kids grow up to give all of their lives and possessions to the poor and hurting in this world, feeding thousands and saving lives, but do not know God’s intimate love for them personally, my parenting has meant nothing.
I am well aware that I am not a perfect parent,
I never will be.
But God is.
And if I fail at all other things,
but my kids know what God’s love is,
I have succeeded.
For God’s love…
is not envious
is not boastful
is not proud
is not self-seeking
is not easily angered
does not keep record of wrongs
does not delight in evil
rejoices with the truth
I Corinthians 13:1-8
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails