When you are a kid in school, teachers tell you that you need food, water, air, and shelter to live. But, you also need love. Without love, we literally die.
Some years ago, there were beautiful medical facilities built to house newborn orphan children who did not have parents. The children were given a clean environment, sunlight, healthy food, fresh water, a comfortable bed, and fun toys. Yet, the children grew sick and died in staggering numbers. The doctors did research and could not figure out why the healthy children were dying. An outside group was brought in to research the crisis.
Can you guess what they concluded?
The children needed to be loved. The children needed to be held, cuddled, and spoken to multiple times every day. Without love, children literally die. God made us for loving relationship and human connection. Knowing this, God who made us and knows what we need says over and over in the Bible, in places like 1 John 4:21, “whoever loves God must also love.”
It’s a little word with big implications.
When you tell someone you love them, and mean it from the heart, it reveals that something profound and priceless has happened in your relationship. When Grace and I decided that we not only loved one another, but that we would say “I love you.” then our relationship would never be the same.
Christianity is about many things, but one of the most important things is love. This is why Jesus says in Mark 12:28–31 that it is “most important” to “love.” In 1 Corinthians 13:13 we are told that the “greatest” thing in all the world “is love.” Love is sometimes what you feel, sometimes what you say, but always what you do. Love is ultimately shown in action. True love is unselfish and does what is in the best interest of the beloved. This results in acts of service and sacrifice, much like Jesus Christ who served us by sacrificing His own life as the greatest act of love the world will ever know.
How are you doing at loving your child in word and deed? How can you love your child better? How can you help your child to love God and others?